KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — While a sluggish economy and weak ringgit may have put a dent in Malaysians’ aspirations for now, it has not halted employment prospects in the country in at least five key sectors.
Apart from opportunities in the manufacturing and ICT sectors — the latter is expanding as the country seeks to boost its internet facilities — Malaysians looking for work can consider applying for positions in support services, education and the food and beverage industries.
A recent survey by online recruitment agency Jobstreet.com titled Job Outlook Survey 2017 suggests that employers are seek to fill up a diverse range of junior positions to senior executive as well as managerial positions in these three sectors.
A check revealed that there were over 2,000 job postings advertised in the websites of several job recruitment agencies under the support services sector and 500 each for education and the food and beverage industry.
Support services, with a current workforce of 682,700 as of last year, is currently on the lookout to recruit more people for positions such as customer service officers, contact centre executives and IT helpdesk assistants to senior managerial levels.
However, unlike employers in the IT, manufacturing and education sectors who are willing to pay a minimum five-figure salary for a managerial role, the highest salary employers in support services were willing to offer for a manager position was only RM7,800.
The salary range for the services sectors is almost similar with the food and beverage industry though.
Among courses offered in the country for this sector are the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Certified Outsourcing Specialist (IAOP COS) in Human Resource or Financial and Accounting.
The IAOP involves a duration of about 20 days, and is designed to train workers to demonstrate skills in the outsourcing services.
The fee ranges around RM6,000 and is currently offered by the government's Performance Management and Delivery Unit.
This professional certificate is targeted at working professionals with some years of working experience or fresh graduates.
Another course to consider in this field would be the servicing at call centre certificate.
This course, which involves only a couple of days, will enable call centre staff to acquire essential skills in handling calls.
Education in Malaysia contributes 6.6 per cent to the country’s the overall workforce and currently employs about 940,000 people. Based on Jobstreet’s online listings, there are 500 jobs available currently and they go beyond teaching positions.
A significant number of the positions open for recruitment are for kindergarten teachers and lecturers, with a particular interest for those who teach English and Mathematics.
However, there are also managerial positions available, such as a kindergarten group that is looking for a school head and is offering a salary of RM14,000 a month.
During a recent interview with Malay Mail Online, Jobstreet country manager Chook Yuh Yng urged candidates who have a diploma, which is the minimum qualification for education to take up Bachelor’s degree courses and post-graduate programmes, to improve their marketability.
A check by Malay Mail Online showed that Bachelor of Early Childhood Education as among popular courses available for kindergarten teachers.
With this qualification, candidates will be able to show more potential in the pre-school sector by having a deeper understanding and analytical skills of how things work in the industry.
The cost undertaken at local universities ranges between RM24,000 and RM54,000 for a three-year full time programme.
Those who already have a Bachelor’s degree and are hoping for a higher position can consider the Master of Education (Planning and Administration).
The course helps one improve practical and theoretical knowledge in a span of 18 months to four years. The cost of learning the programme locally is about RM10,000.
Food and beverage
This sector has a sizeable workforce of close to 1.27 million people currently, forming about 8.9 per cent of the total workforce in Malaysia.
The food and beverage industry is one of the easiest places for those joining the employment market for the first time if they are willing to start from very junior positions like being on the waitstaff.
Currently, there are close to 500 jobs listed on Jobstreet.com in this sector, with positions ranging from junior to senior and managerial positions.
The highest position on offer in Jobstreets.com’s listings includes an opening for an executive chef that pays up to RM8,000 a month.