Conceptualisation of a Graduate Employability Framework from a Malaysian Perspective

Seetha Nesaratnam, Shivaani Prabha Karan, Foo Yi Von


Skills shortage among graduates is a serious constraint in Malaysia and according to Bank Negara Malaysia, graduate employability in Malaysia is a rising concern as graduates represent 23 per cent of total youth unemployment. As Malaysia aggressively sets course towards becoming a high-income economy, the need for skilled manpower is said to be expanding across key industries. To ensure a productive workforce, the country must have a high-quality flow of talent supply to fill these jobs. Hence, the study investigates the antecedents of graduate employability in Malaysia by researching a key stakeholder group, which is the employer.

Using a qualitative research methodology, ten employers were interviewed using in-depth interviews to explore and enrich the graduate employability framework. The qualitative phase inducted the ‘graduate training’ construct and its sub-constructs of ‘internship’, ‘mentoring’ and ‘talent management’, as perceived by the employers, which were added as enrichment to the graduate employability framework. It also affirmed and authenticated the ‘soft skills’ construct drawn from literature. By incorporating the findings from the qualitative phase, an enriched framework eventuated. This enriched framework brings these previously omitted dimensions to the forefront.

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