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UNIVERSITI TEKNOLOGI MALAYSIA

FINAL EXAMINATION SEl\{ESTER II 2007/2008 ACADEMIC SESSION.

NA'~U'- t-t\SAAw.. 0· \hOW(} ~W\W ',$ X b~o 'l.t;o A W -:30 &-

COURSE CODE

UHB 2422

COURSE

ADVANCED ENGLISH FOR ACADEMIC COMMUNICATION

PROGRAMlVIE'

ALL PROGRA.MM:ES

DURATION

2 HOURS 30 MINUTES

DATE

APRILfMAY 2008

MARKS

30

"

INSTRUCTION TO THE CANDIDATES:

Answer the question in the answer booklet provided,

iI· *

THIS EXAMINATION PAPER CONSISTS OF 5 Pru:NT~D PAGES.

(INCLUDING THE COVER PAGE)

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Instruction:

Read the situation below and complete the task given using the primary and secondary sources provided.

. . Situation

The Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources is very concerned with the increasing number of unemployed graduates. According to Datuk Abdul Rahman bin Bakar, the Deputy Human Resources Minister, if this problem is not resolved, it will have a negative impact on the economy and development of the country. In response to this problem, a committee has been set up to investigate this matter. Three thousand employers throughout Malaysia were randomly surveyed. Results from the survey are presented in the following pages.

Task

Write a report of five to seven pages using information from all the primary data given and your background knowledge, and use at least two (2) excerpts from the secondary data provided. Your report should include the following headings:

INTRODUCTION (background, objective, scope and significance of study) METHODOLOGY (sampling, instruments, and research procedure) FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS

CONCLUSIONS

RECOMMENDATIONS

Note: Marks will be deducted for direct lifting of sentences from the excerpts.

2

PRIMARY DATA

The following are the results obtained from the study,

90,000
80,000
70,000
60,000
50,000
40,000
30,000
20,000
10,000
0
2002 2003 Figure 1: Number of Unemployed Graduates in Malaysia. (rounded to the nearest thousand)

2004

2005

2006

Weak command-of English

Demand too much pay

Poor social etiquette

Degrees not relevant

Too choosy

No vacancies

.

56%

10%

50%

60%

20% .

30%

40%

".

70%

Figure 2: Reasons for Unemployment

3

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Table 1: Attributes Employers look fOI" in Graduates (ranked from 1 - Most Important to 5 - Least Important)

r-~----'----'------ ''''-.-:.----

Attribute

--------------

Rank
1
._
2
3
---_.--

4
5
- - Relevant work experience

Communication skills

1-----_._-- ---------.-

Good work ethics/attitude

1----------,----------

Personality

Academic qualification

SICCONDARY DATA

Excerpt 1

Azimah Mahmud (2006) 'The Right Qualification Not Enough, Grads Told'. New Straits Times, 18 December 2006, p.l3.

The right qualification alone will not guarantee graduates ajob if they do not equip themselves with the right skills and attitude, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said. He said they should equip themselves with the relevant soft skills to compete in the job market upon graduation, and must not be content with what they have but should strive for excellence.

"If you have the right qualifications, right skills and altitude, you will find jobs anywhere (including outside Malaysia)," he said in his keynote address when opening the National Career Carnival 2006 at the International Islarnic University Malaysia main campus in Gombak on Monday. As a measure to tackle the high unemployment rate among graduates, Najib sail the Cabinet had directed the Public Services Department (PSD) to expedite the process of filling the 32,000 vacancies in the public sector. However; he pointed out that this alone would not solve the issue of unemployment among graduates, and encouraged them to venture into the private sector or explore self-employment.

He also warned undergraduates that in this fast changing economic environment, employees need to constantly improve themselves with new skills or face the risk of being left behind.

4

;

Excerpt 2

James Phang (2004) 'Making Unemployable Graduates Employable' in Graduan, Vol. 31, p.117

..

The issue of unemployment among local university graduates has caught the attention of the nation. This article will address the issue by putting it within the context of the new knowledge-based economy (K-economy), examine some of the alternatives, and put forward a solution that could make unemployable graduates employable. After undergoing three to four years of studies that are not industry-focused, it is difficult to fault the students for taking a long time to be productive in their jobs, as they have to re-Iearn and try to convert their theoretical knowledge into getting a practical job done. Rate learning and an emphasis on examinations instead of practical skills have also made it difficult for local university graduates to satisfy employers. Graduates lose out to applicants who have the skill to get the work done. rather than just the theory which may get the work done. In the fast changing world of technology, it is important to realize that there is a very high possibility that they may end up in areas they are not trained for. Graduates must learn to . be multi-skilled to improve their employment prospects. They must also realize that they are living in a multi-disciplinary world. The academic degree may not have prepared them for the actual job, but it should have taught them how to learn. Then, we are reminded constantly that knowledge workers will replace traditional office workers. As companies reduce their workforce, the employees that are retained usually possess the characteristics of a knowledge worker. Are our graduates knowledge workers? The attainment of a degree is just a start, not an end in itself. Many graduates actually stop learning when they graduate. Employers, however, are looking for graduates who have the ability to learn on

their own. .

Excerpt 3

Abdul Razak Ahmad (2007) 'The Unemployable Malaysian Graduate'. The Star, 21 January 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2007 from http://www.thestar.com.m)J

"Graduate unemployment is a worrying trend because the numbers have been increasing in the past several years," says Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Vice Chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohd Salleh Mohd Yasin. Why is this happening? A likely explanation would be a changing economy anchored in the service sector. Being.reliant on services means employers require people who not only have knowledge but also possess the "soft skills" as well: people who can communicate effectively, and analyze and solve problems efficiently. The employability ofthe average Malaysian graduate is becoming more dependent on the mastery of these soft skllls.' The growing number of unemployed is mainly because many arrive in the job market poorly equipped with the skills required by a changing economy. Of the 12 criteria listed by 115 employers surveyed in a study on unemployment conducted by the National Economic Action Council, the top three were soft skills: good communications, being' presentable and having a reasonable grasp of general knowledge, Academic performance only came eighth.

"The key criteria employers look for in potential hires are a good command of English, a good attitude and a strong work ethic," says Buresh Thiru, vice-president of operations at online recruitment company JobStreet.com. "Many are unable to secure a good job because their English is poor," he adds. Marie Lam, country manager of employment agency, Adecco Group Malaysia concurs with this by stating that most graduates generally find it hard to communicate, have poor computer skills and are unable to interact with colleagues and people from other races. They also fail to display team spirit and face difficulties in adapting to the job

. market.

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