The government has earmarked RM100mil this year to improve the employability of students graduating from public higher educational institutions.
The money will be spent on several initiatives include training, internships, job placements and entrepreneurship skills development.
Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said these programmes were introduced to ensure that students not only have paper qualifications but were also competent to enter the job market.
“Having a degree alone is not enough in today’s competitive job market.
“A graduate must also be competent in addition to having theoretical knowledge,” Khaled said, after opening the Snap-A-Job 2008 career fair recently.
For example, in the information technology field, students undergo an industry-based professional certification programme (3P), which is fully sponsored by the government.
Since the programme’s inception in 2006, over 7,000 participants have gone through the course and sat for certification offered by companies like Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems and CompTIA.
“A total of 84% of students who attended the latest course received their professional certification.
“This is above the 70% worldwide average.
“This is something we can all be proud of,” said Khaled, in his speech.
The programme is targeted at final-year students in IT and related fields from selected public universities, polytechnics and community colleges.
This year alone, the government will be spending about RM15mil on 3P.
On another matter, Khaled said that Malaysia could not do much about the British government’s move to tighten student visa requirements for foreigners entering the country.
These measures include the fingerprinting of students.
“Britain has every right to impose these new conditions based on the issues and problems it is facing,’’ he added.