17 August 2016 at 9:00 am
Media roundtable highlights employers’ need for well-rounded talent
The importance of holistic education in today’s employment market was the topic of an exclusive media roundtable organised by Education New Zealand (ENZ) ahead of the annual ENZ fair in Malaysia earlier this month.
Guest speakers included Dr John Subritzky, New Zealand High Commissioner to Malaysia; Ryan Carroll, Director of Randstad Malaysia; Richard Tan, co-founder and Managing Director of lelong.com.my; and Jane Goh, ENZ Marketing and Strategic Relations Manager.
The roundtable was well-received by the 11 editors and journalists who attended.
Ryan Carroll said employers in Malaysia want talented individuals who possess various skills and competencies.
“Employers today are looking for someone who can help the organisation produce productivity gains. They want candidates who have good skills in project management, are competent in the digital and social media space, and are confident communicators. All these can be acquired through internships, part-time work or even working on charity projects.
“While it is still important that potential employees have the relevant skills and workplace experiences, they must also be able to articulate effectively about how they can contribute to the company. For example, if they have worked on a particular case study or project in university, they need to be confident talking about their experiences and what they learnt during that process,” Mr Carroll said.
Dr Subritzky spoke about the New Zealand education system and institutions are committed to developing holistic educational experiences that are relevant to the workplace.
“New Zealand recognises the importance of a well-rounded education to employability, which is why our education system focuses on helping students transition from academic life into the working world,” he said.
Richard Tan, a Victoria University of Wellington alumnus, shared his experiences studying in New Zealand.
“What I liked about the New Zealand education system is that it encourages students to pursue and develop their interests. It doesn’t force a student into a particular stream but focuses on teaching him or her how to acquire information and meaningfully apply that knowledge across various situations. This means that even as a pure science student, I was given the flexibility to explore other areas of interest to me such as accountancy.
“I was also able to work part-time at various places and this helped me pick up softer skills such as communicating effectively with peers and dealing with different types of personalities, which then eventually helped me in my career,” Mr Tan shared.
Over the last year, New Zealand has seen an increase in Malaysian student numbers.
“There was a 23 per cent increase in the number of first-time student visas approved year to-date in June 2016. In particular, we saw an increase in the number of student visas approved for the universities and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) sectors,” said Jane Goh.