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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                   19  September 2011

Job applicants improve, lack English skills

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Employers see improvement in the quality of fresh graduates, but worry the youths are not changing fast enough to catch up with the demands of the working world. The poor level of English and lack of self confidence are the main reasons for concern, said employers at the Malaysia Career & Training Fair 2011 here.

"The level of English is still poor, although we have noticed a slight improvement compared with previous years," Top Glove Corp Bhd assistant human resource manager Gurmeet Kaur said about the thousands of job seekers who turned up for the fair.

"Even if they do not speak perfect English, they can still get the message across if they are confident enough to communicate.

"But sadly, the confidence is lacking as well," she said.

Another employer, RHB Bank recruitment specialist Siti Nadiah Mohd Rous said the lack of confidence among candidates was worrying.

"They first need the confidence to speak up before they can improve their English," she said adding that many candidates also made the mistake of not doing their "homework" before attending interviews.

"They attend interviews without even basic knowledge about their potential employers. It makes a very bad first impression," she said.

Kuala Lumpur Kepong Bhd group manufacturing human resource manager Hisham Kusari felt English was the biggest problem among the fresh graduates.

"Although they seem more knowledgeable compared to fresh graduates from a few years ago, they are still very much lacking in terms of language," he said.

A fresh graduate in mechanical engineering, Wong Jun You, 22, said he had attended six interviews since graduating last month.

"I don't think I did well because I have problems communicating in English," he said, adding he planned to take up English classes to improve himself.

"I now realise that it would have been better to get a good grasp of English at an early age. I find it is quite difficult to learn now," he added.

Fresh graduate Ayani Mohd Padzil, 23, who has a degree in process and food engineering said she has been reading English newspapers daily to improve herself.

"It is definitely a minus point not to be able to speak English fluently," she said.



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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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