SURESH: The government and the Ministry of Education deserve praise for their ASPIRE recommendations. But without opportunities, polytechnic and ITE graduates won’t be able to showcase their talents and skills. If they can’t do that, how are they going to climb the corporate ladder?
A shift in employer mindset is needed, so they can be given opportunities to shine. The place-and-train programme is a good step forward, but it doesn’t address the issue that they can be used as a form of cheap labour, rather than a skilled asset which is being prepared to enter the company as an equal employee.
Some students are more hands-on, others are more academic. When it comes to the workplace, a good mix is necessary, especially when the latest job landscape promotes the formation of cross-functional teams. If everyone in the team has the same skills, then employers should just keep one member and trim the rest. It’s called duplication. A team with a diverse set of members will be able to generate more ideas. They will have different areas of specialisation to push the job forward.
Paper qualification are a good indicator of competency, but to what extent? Excelling in academics means an individual is capable, but only in his or her academic pursuit. In our globalised world, individuals with a holistic education and skill-set are just as valuable to employers, especially in multinational companies.
The MOE’s concept is good, but the devil lies in the details. Can it follow-up on this with good implementation such that polytechnic and ITE graduates do bit get te raw end of the stick when it comes to job opportunities?