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Trainees’ Marketability Of Selected Youth Pre-Employment Training
Program: A Multinomial Logistic Regression Analysis
Dr Abd Hair Awang
NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF MALAYSIA
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Center of Social, Development and Environmental Studies,
43600 UKM Bangi, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Tel: 03- 89292841, 89296343, 89296344
Faks: 603-89251051; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Public investment in youth pre-employment training has increased substantially in Eight Malaysia Plan 2001-2005 to strengthen implementation of knowledge-based economy. The government also proposed that the public pre-employment training institutions should be reviewed regularly to enhance their effectiveness. There are two main public pre-employment training institutions; first Industrial Training Institute (ITI), organized by Manpower Department of the Ministry of Human Resources; second MARA Vocational Training Institute (MVTI), organized by Ministry of Entrepreneur Development. Both training institutes provide a various pre-employment training programs to the secondary school leavers. For electrical wireman program, the ITIs impart a single-phase wireman, while MVTIs offer third phase wireman. The core objective of this program is to develop both technical skills and non-technical skills such as work habits, communication skills and positive value, so that they can be employed on a useful and productive basis. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence marketability of the trainees’ pre-employment training program after graduation. Longitudinal follow-up survey was use to achieve the central objective of this study. The empirical basis was gathered at two stages. At the first stage, data gathered using self-administered questionnaires at the end of a training program. While in the second stage, most data were collected through phone interviews a year after graduation. The multinomial logistic regression was employed to explain four types of trainees’ marketability (unemployed, further study, job mismatch and job match) by personal endowments, attributes of training institutes, learning outcomes and labor market circumstances. Empirical findings showed that both factors have a significant contribution to the trainee’s marketability. However, those most likely to succeed in the labor market possess strong basic technical skills, higher employability skills and come from or migrate to urban and high growth regions.
Globalization of economy implies that new and more complex patterns of flows of goods and services, flows of resources and flows of ideas and messages are emerging. As the result of these economic changes, there has been a rise in competitiveness, innovation and the striving for quality in products and services. When markets are shifting from the local to global arena, countries that want to survive the global competition of the future are facing tremendous pressures to improve the quality of their workforce (Brown & Lauder; 1996; Lall, 2000; Lewin, 1998; Steward, 1996). Best (in Lall, 2000) and Sieh (2000) expressed that the nature of competition in business is not only based on low costs and prices, but the current competition driven by global quality standard, flexibility, design, reliability and networking. Therefore the new patterns of competition are marked by knowledge, skills, attitude and technology based competitive advantages. Consequently educated and skilled human intelligence is increasingly viewed as a nation’s and organizational primary economic resources (Brown & Lauder, 1996; Carnoy, 1998; Davies & Guppy, 1997; Kraak, 1999; Lewin, 1998; Oxfam, 1999a,b; Sieh, 2000; Steward, 1996; Varma, 1999). This circumstances points to the important of human resource as factors of investment, economic development and as key elements of competitiveness.
With moving toward a knowledge-based economy, Malaysia having increasingly recognized the importance of having skilled and semiskilled workers to deepen the technology of firms improves the productivity and continues to attract foreign direct investment (Kanapathy, 1997; Malaysia, 2002, 2001a,b; Raja Zaharaton, 2003; Tan & Gill, 2000). In response the concerns, the government has expended resources for public vocational training institutions. The capacity and capability of the public training delivery system further strengthened to increase the quantity and the quality of skilled and semi skilled manpower. During Seven Malaysia Plan (7MP) 1996 – 2000, both public and private vocational training institutions produced a total of 187,440 skilled and semi skilled manpower. The output skilled and semi-skilled manpower from these institutions will be increased to 301,859 in the year 2001 to 2010 (Malaysia, 2001b). The development allocation for vocational training was increased from 1.9 billion in 7MP 1996 – 2000 to 3.8 billion in Eight Malaysia Plan (8MP) 2001 – 2005 (Malaysia, 2001b).
In 1997-1998, the country suffered from Asian financial crisis that led to an economic recession. The unemployment rate increased from 2.4 percent in 1997 to 3.5 percent in 2002. The unemployed people mainly youth and inexperienced (Doraisamy, 2002; MEEF, 2004; Zainal, 2004). In 1998, 64.6 per cent of the unemployed are youth aged 15 to 24 years. This figure rises to 68.5 per cent in 2000 and 72.9 per cent in 2002. At the same time as the number of youth in public vocational training institutes has increased, labor market is not able to accommodate this large group of skilled young trainees. Therefore, it is important to identify the determinants of trainee’s marketability. The government also proposed that the public vocational training institution would be reviewed regularly to strengthen their effectiveness (Malaysia, 2001a,b).
In Malaysia, both private and public training institutes provided vocational training. Several ministries manage the public vocational training institutes. Both training institutes provide vocational training to the secondary school leavers. Most secondary school leavers had taken the “Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia” (Malaysia Certificate of Education) at the age of 17 or 18 years old. The main function of these vocational training institutes is producing skilled and semiskilled manpower at certificate and diploma level. In the vocational training system, more emphasis is given to practical work to develop competencies in trade skills as required by related industries (Ahmad, 2001). The duration of pre-employment programs varies, ranging from six months to 24 months in industrial skills.
The core objective of vocational training programs is to develop both technical skills and non-technical skills such as works habits, communication skills and positive value, so that they can be employed on a useful and productive basis (Ahmad, 2001). In total, there are 224 public industrial and skills training institutes. These are
Both of these industrial and skills training institutes offer various programs at certificate and diploma level except Giat MARA. Giat MARA provides training in basic skills for those who have left the school system early. The function of MVTIs is to produce skilled and semi-skilled Bumiputera in industrial and commercial sectors concurrently with producing young Bumiputera’s entrepreneur. While ITIs produce skilled and semi-skilled workforce for industrial development. Meanwhile, YTC’s are providing vocational training to the young people with few academic qualifications. Secondary school leavers can also choose to enter polytechnics. However, polytechnics provide emphasis training in engineering and commerce to produce technician and executive at junior and middle levels (Fong & Lee, 1997). Public investments in industrial and skills development are channeled through a variety of ministries mention above. Public investment in industrial and skills development has increased substantially from 61.8 million during First Malaysia Plan (1MP) 1966-1970 to 3,760.0 million in 8MP 2001-2005 as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Public Investment in Industrial and Skills Development
Source: Malaysia, (1965, 1971, 1981, 1986, 1991a, 1996, 2001a).
There are two main of public vocational training institutions; first Industrial Training Institute (ITI), organized by Manpower Department of the Ministry of Human Resources; second MARA Vocational Training Institute (MVTI), organized by Ministry of Entrepreneur Development. The main objective of these training institutions is to provide a vocational training to the schools leavers. Besides technical skills, these vocational training institutes provides English, Islamic Studies, Entrepreneurship and other non-technical skills mainly through extra co-curriculum activities and short courses to strengthening the student’s competencies (FEFC, 1998). During the third semester (six months), trainees are required to study production processes and working practices in local or foreign companies. Therefore a specific research question in this study is to what extend does the student characteristics, family background, service quality of the training institutes, service quality of industrial practices and labor market condition contribute to the marketability of the trainees?
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