Sunday, September 29, 2019

Women empowerment and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Women empowerment

Gender parity in education is a battle well fought and won by most nations around the world, but gaps do remain in the labour market, and business leadership needs to be strengthened. In a global economy where women make up nearly half the potential human capital, the success of being competitive lies in the best use of this talented group.

As debates continue about the widening or closing of the gender gap, the 10th Global Gender Gap Report stated it could take over 100 years to achieve economic gender parity. And its report for 2015 and 2016 reveals that the progress towards this parity is slowing. Add to this the world economy transitioning through the ‘fourth industrial revolution’. A shakeup of the labour market, further automation, and job displacements are the fallouts in both male- and female-dominated professions. Yet the heartening aspect is a likely growth in demand in ‘soft’ arenas, the caregiver, for instance, where machines are yet to tread.

Rather than brood over depressing data, it is time to sound the clarion call for action. For that, girls and women need to arm themselves with skills and training pertinent to the jobs of the future, especially in the field of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). 

The challenge is huge the world over, where women have had to overcome societal obstacles to rise to the top. So what can catapult women to the top at the workplace?

  • Define the leadership path: identify opportunities for progress; set clear targets; and make the role models visible. 
  • Change company culture, and fast: this calls for flexibility and uniform work-life balance.
  • Build environments that are supportive: remove bias through a top-down approach.

Thus, while women fast forward to a better future, they have to be pragmatic; encourage more startups; promote entrepreneurship; be open to learning from global role models; and, on reaching the top, employ more women.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Women Entrepreneurs: Seeking New Horizons beyond Job comfort zones

Women Entrepreneurs

Creativity and Entrepreneurship drives a country's economic supremacy. However, most states ignore almost half of its immense entrepreneurship capability - it's power. Although, this millennium is showing a lot of promise regarding Creativity Entrepreneurship. Initiatives taken by many reports indicate that we have a long way to go. 

"Female entrepreneurship continues on an upward trend globally. The latest research shows that women’s entrepreneurial activity is up 10%, closing the gender gap by 5% since 2014. In the past year, 163 million women were starting businesses across 74 economies worldwide, while 111 million were running established businesses. Among the 63 economies surveyed in both this and the last report produced in 2015, GEM found that Total Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) among women increased by 10%, and the gender gap (ratio of women to men participating in entrepreneurship) narrowed by 5%. These same economies show an 8% increase in women’s ownership of established businesses."

Source : 

However, in most economies across the world, this number is incomparable to the equivalent statistics for men. The whole concept of entrepreneurship appears masculine and intimidating. 

The wheels of change have started to turn in Asia, where we are witnessing an increasing number of women entrepreneurial initiatives. However, despite many examples of successful women entrepreneurs in the region, they do not seem to be as visible as male entrepreneurs. Women entrepreneurs face many more challenges than their male counterparts do. 

1. Many women entrepreneurs face challenges even in their choice of business. In most male-oriented societies, women play the role of a caregiver in the family. A responsibility they cannot sacrifice on any account. Hence any entrepreneurial initiatives that women take up cannot compromise this role. Most women consider predominantly home-based business options. Even within this scenario, many women juggle their time and attention between fulfilling familial responsibilities and running their establishments, which can be quite a challenge many times. These drawbacks pull women back into the comfort zone of their homes and jobs. 

2. A large percentage of women still lack the essential skills required to run a successful medium- to large-scale business. While education is often not the issue, technical knowhow, financial knowledge, managerial skills, and the work experience required to establish and grow a business are lacking. 

3. Financial restrictions often hinder women from scaling up their enterprises - they often struggle to receive long-term financial investments for moving to the next level in business.

4. The entire business ecosystem for women is weak, with hardly any networking happening in this entrepreneurial scene. The single-unit entrepreneurial establishments and multiple responsibilities rarely leave any time for such activities.

Despite these challenges, women entrepreneurs do have hope since there is growing awareness of the need to correct these imbalances.

1. A key change seen in many economies is the acknowledgement that women entrepreneurs make a significant contribution to the economic growth of a country. Many organizations are now hosting programs to educate and train entrepreneurs. Many home-grown incubators were supporting women entrepreneurs. A strong network of successful women entrepreneurs playing the role of mentors, teaching others, and investing in new ventures is immensely supporting women to follow their entrepreneurial dreams. 

2. Successful women entrepreneurs can lead by example. Their accomplishments have to be publicized so they can serve as an inspiration. 

3. Social media can help build a strong network of women entrepreneurs who can share their lessons and experience and support each other mutually to succeed.

4. Of course, revised government policies and social welfare initiatives that help create a conducive atmosphere for gender-independent growth options will also be a great support.

Women entrepreneurs have realized their capability and are ready to partner with men to build the economic future of their country. All it need is a platform where they can sharpen their skills, a network where they can share their experiences. This requires an integrated support system that will help them manage their multiple responsibilities at home and follow their dreams with confidence.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Skills for Creative entrepreneurship


"Creative entrepreneurship is the practice of setting up a business – or setting yourself up as self-employed - in one of the creative industries. The focus of the creative entrepreneur differs from that of the typical business entrepreneur or, indeed, the social entrepreneur in that s/he is concerned first and foremost with the creation and exploitation of creative or intellectual capital. Essentially, creative entrepreneurs are investors in talent – their own or other people's" WIKIPEDIA 

It begins with a dream, an inspiration, or a seed of a new idea. But it takes skills to catapult those dreams into a success in the creative industry. The skills that will transform those ideas into something realistic and feasible. It takes perseverance, drive, defiance, agility, patience, vision and confidence to make that shift from a dreamer to an entrepreneur. From W Disney to R Branson, the most renowned creative entrepreneurs have combined their creativity and business flair to reach the peak of success.

Creative entrepreneurship is the practice of setting up a business or being self-employed is one of the creative industries. The focus of a creative entrepreneur is widely different from that of the other business entrepreneurs. He or she is concerned primarily with the creation and application of their artistic or intellectual resources. Many countries are taking note of the fact that creative industries can significantly contribute to the nation's economy too. Along with boosting the economy, new ideas and new technologies are evolving from the core of these creative spaces. 

Today's world presents creative entrepreneurs with a plethora of opportunities. Entrepreneurship has become a necessary part of artistic practice for reasons including the saturation of the market, competition, accessing finance and of course, the digital surge. The digital advances have contributed to the unprecedented rise of creative entrepreneurship and have significantly affected the way artists create, promote, sell, communicate, deliver and find work. Today, a creative entrepreneur isn't just limited to artistic space. It is for using their creativity and entrepreneurial vision to uncover hidden opportunities, meet challenges, solve problems and innovate.

What are the required qualities in a creative entrepreneur?

· Creative entrepreneurs must always be proactive. They should have an ability to manage cashflow, key talent and the creative process effectively.

· They should have the insight to identify opportunities in the marketplace, and skills to turn ideas, products and services into profits.

· They should be adept at building relationships, both virtual and real, connecting with partners, clients, audiences and stakeholders. 

· Cash flow is prime, when starting and they should be able to convince their financiers the quality and opportunities in their ideas.

· They should be adaptable with the ability to invent themselves, learn endlessly and should know how to prioritize ideas.

Creativity and entrepreneurship interwinds in the career of a creative entrepreneur to make him/her successful. The value of their creation lies not just in their products or services but also in their reputation, brand, network and intellectual property that they build in due course. 
The path of the creative entrepreneur is tough. 
There will be frustration, desperation, failures, risks, resistance and many more challenges. 
But a career following your heart and passion makes all the struggles worthwhile.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Changing technology landscapes, new needs and new skills.

collaborative skills

Change is constant. It applies to factories and manufacturing organisations. The significant impact of technology is currently on how to design the manufacturing processes. This change involves using new skills like design, technology development and applications. Shortly we can expect a total overhaul of the industrial ecosystem (collaborative manufacturing, small production units, products adapted to demand ) with an impact on the supply chain and new skills needs such as time to market, order to sales and the data protection.

The value chain of manufacturing has a specificity: its scope. It covers people, materials, design, manufacturing process and technology applications.

Connectivity, smart machines and Fifth generation cellular network (5G) are shaping the world we live in, as well as support the new age manufacturing, Industry 4.0. The skills that businesses need are changing dramatically, changing the landscape of employment.


New Needs and New skills

To understand the new skills that companies need, it is necessary to identify the fundamental transformations that modify the competitive framework of these:

The nature of digital technology in the design and manufacturing processes of goods and services are changing. Business transformation enabled by digital transformation in the organisations.

Increasing global competition, collaborative work models, International regulations are changing the employment pattern of all companies. Example: Collaborative R&D requires product design skills that are working on remote platforms, connecting different geographic locations.

The green economy is creating new jobs faster than jobs are disappearing in the polluting sectors. Example: Globally, e-automotive is picking very fast in the automobile sector.

These changes in the competitive environment mean, for companies, profoundly renewed competitiveness criteria. For businesses, the challenge is to meet a more complex and versatile demand, while keeping design, manufacturing and distribution costs low. Anxiety about workers being replaced by BOTS is common.

Along with challenges, organisations are building a new approach to creating and managing jobs, while the centre of attention is competence and competitiveness.

Monday, September 23, 2019




1.            First and foremost, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to the Secretariat of the 6th Asian Summit on Education and Skills 2019 for the invitation extended to me to be present at this auspicious event. It is indeed an honour to be at the same event with many other Ministers and senior officials who are responsible for policy making and managing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in India and various Asian countries.


2.            The scenario of TVET ecosystem in Malaysia is quite unique. Most countries, usually have a single ministry mandated to oversee TVET matters. However, in Malaysia, TVET is under the purview of six (6) main Ministries namely the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Resources, Ministry of Works, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Ministry of Rural Development and finally, the Ministry of Youth and Sports. Currently in Malaysia, there are 775* public TVET institutions and 666* private TVET institutions.

3.            In Malaysian, currently, there is no single legislation governing TVET across the various Ministries. TVET institutions under the Ministry of Education are governed by the Education Act, while other institutions offering the National Skill Certificates must adhere to the provisions of the National Skills Development Act. There is also the Malaysian Qualification Agency Act that regulates the accreditations of programs and qualifications offered by higher education institutions which also include TVET programmes.

4.            In order to improve the coordination of TVET among all the Ministries, recently in this year, a Cabinet Committee on TVET empowerment was established. The committee is chaired by the Minister of Education, and the members hail from all the six (6) Ministers involved in TVET.


5.            The Ministry of Human Resources, is a major TVET player in Malaysia. Under this Ministry, four (4) entities are involved in TVET namely:
(i)    Department of Skills Development (DSD) - responsible for development of skill standards, programme accreditation and certification, and TVET instructor training

(ii)          Department of Manpower - responsible for delivery of various high level TVET programmes and courses at thirty two (32) Institutes under the Department

(iii)         Skills Development Fund Corporation - responsible for providing loans to TVET students at both the public and private institutions, and

(iv)        Human Resource Development Fund - responsible for managing various schemes to promote the training of existing workers as well as future workers.

6.            The Ministry of Human Resources is involved in the whole eco-system of TVET: through DSD the government has developed National Occupational Skills Standards (NOSS) to provide employment standards  leading to certification with Malaysian Skills Certificate from Level 1-3 , Malaysian Skills Diploma and Malaysian Skills Advanced Diploma.   Subsequently DSD implemented the  Star Rating  system to evaluate programme quality performance of accredited centers under DSD to improve the quality of TVET delivery in the country. Our TVET programmes extend beyond programmes for school students and school leavers by also including working adults and members of the public who are keen on developing skills and obtaining useful qualifications. This includes engaging industry and training institution partnership through the National Dual Training System and providing opportunity for certification based on experience via Accreditation of Prior Achievement. To strengthen the governance of TVET, MOHR has established 6 working committees under National Skills Development  Council as follows;
(i)            TVET Governance
(ii)           Certification and Recognition
(iii)       Financing of TVET Training
(iv)      TVET Training Quality
(v)           Strategic Cooperation
(vi)      Promotion
(vii)     The roles of these working committesis to advice the minister on matters pertaining to NASDA 652.

7.            TVET Institutes administered by the Department of Manpower conducts certificate, diploma, and advanced-diploma level TVET programs, besides part-time courses. Currently, our enrolment of full-time students is at 18,000 students but our figure for short-course participants is much higher. For example, last year, in 2018, Institutions under the Department of Manpower trained a total of 51,455 short-course participants, helping them learn valuable skills and earn certificates and qualifications that help advance their careers. Altogether, since 1964, the Department of Manpower has trained 817,553 skilled workers comprising of 209,057 graduates of full-time programs, and 608,496 workers trained through short-courses.

8.            The Ministry of Human Resources is also responsible for instructor training. The Centre for Instructor and Advanced Skill Training (CIAST) conducts pedagogical training for TVET instructors leading to graduates being awarded Vocational Training Operation (VTO) certificate. CIAST also conducts various trainings for Vocational Education & Training Implementation, Vocational Education & Training Management and technical training for existing and future trainers.


9.            One of the challenges faced in Malaysia is managing the public's negative perception of TVET that is often associated with students who are academically weak, looked upon as a last choice of education and career option. This is in contrast to practices in developed countries such as Germany, Japan, here in India and Australia which have more positive perceptions on TVET education.

10.        Apart from that, a bigger challenge faced is meeting the requirements of new technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4.0), as well as embedding TVET curriculum with soft-skills relevant to IR4.0. The Ministry aspires to train the future skilled workforce to be competent in technologies associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4). Some of the key technologies that are frequently associated with IR4 are Artificial Intelligence (A.I), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), and additive manufacturing or 3D printing. Taking into account India’s rapid advancement particularly in IR4 technologies, it makes sense to learn from India’s many areas of best practices in technology development and education.

11.        TVET now should no longer be confined to the conventional and traditional trades. With the emergence of IR4.0, TVET institutions have the opportunity to position themselves as providers of advanced skills training. New TVET programmes are being introduced such as in the fields of smart technologies, robotics, automation, autonomous drones, cyber security and big data analytics.


12.        We can do many great and wonderful things for TVET, but the most important thing we need to do is to ensure that our TVET graduates meet the various requirements of the industries. If this is not met, then all our hard work is in vain. We aspire to reduce the industry skills gap and produce high quality TVET graduates who can immediately contribute at the workplace and will require only minimal additional training to be productive at work. For this to happen, more TVET institutions and the industry needs to work closely to develop and deliver programmes and courses that are up to date and relevant. At the same time, we need to encourage more youths to participate in TVET so that in the long run, the country will have a large pool of highly trained local people to be part of our industry workforce.

13.        One good example on enterprise collaboration to train skilled personnel is the collaboration between agencies under the Ministry of Human Resources with Daikin Malaysia for the Air-Conditioner Certified Technician programme in which the MoU was signed last month. Under this collaboration, Daikin Malaysia provides the technology and technical expertise and contributes air conditioning units and racks for training purpose, while the Department of Manpower provides facilities and instructors for trainings, and the Human Resource Development Fund provides the training fund for qualified participants from the Small and Medium Enterprises category.

14.        Enterprises also help provide on-the-job training or industrial training for students from TVET institutions. This training is very important to acclimatize the TVET students to the workplaces, and help bridge the skills gap between institute and industry.

15.        The Ministry has also introduced a new initiative called the Institute-Industry Management Board (IIMB) in which industry representatives participate in the management of various programmes and courses at our training institutes. IIMB is an important initiative to ensure that graduates produced by our TVET institutions meet the needs of the industry. The IIMB draws participation from the industry so that they can provide inputs towards the continuous betterment of programs and courses at the Institutes.

Prepared By:

Policy Division
Department of Manpower
Department of Skills Development

Ministry of Human Resources
19th September 2019

Friday, September 20, 2019

5 Skills Recruiters Want in College Graduates

Skills required from College Graduates


Employers particularly appreciate adaptability. And for a good reason, adapting in all circumstances is more than necessary in an ever-changing environment. Techniques and technologies are evolving. Employers want the employees to adjust to the perpetual changes that govern the working environment. Digital workplaces are growing fast and with the rise of tech applications and its adaptability is critical 

Team spirit 

Company recruiters expect young graduates to have a team spirit. Why? Team generate synergy. Organizations are made of functions, process and teams with attached responsibility and accountability. Teamwork assures a higher success rate and the freshers must have skills related to working with groups. The individual must be able to participate blend with the team and contribute high to attain team's goals.

Sense of ownership

The new team members can also express a desire for greater psychological ownership of their work. Running away from challenges, and the problem is not acceptable by any employers. Taking ownership and facing the challenge will improve their job satisfaction and happiness. Ownership mindset on the given task and responsibilities, not only influences one's feelings toward our organization but also actually makes the person more helpful and generous toward others as well.


We need creative energy in offices and manufacturing houses. Creativity makes it possible to innovate or to solve a problem. The freshers have the fearlessness and freedom to think beyond what is seen in front of them. This can offer some invaluable lesson for the organisations and the industry.


Stay with positive minds. Recruiters want a new set of joiners with talent that brings enthusiasm, This will allow you to optimize the resources, motivate the interest of your colleagues and be more efficient. Performance is also an outcome of positive thinking. Do not be overwhelmed by stress or anger, instead divert them towards positive thinking and difficulties differently.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Importance Of Hiring Local Talents First While Recruiting

Local Talents

Although the world is steeping into globalization, a lot of companies are giving importance towards local talents and investing in their local economy and pools of talent. Being able to grow locally has turned out to be a seal of quality, and this article aims to shed some light on the benefits that hiring locally will provide to your company or organization. These benefits include

The gratification of your customers-  
If you have looked over the data and trends that have been accumulated from customer behavior over the last couple of years, it is nothing strange to realize that most customers these days prefer to invest in something that has been produced locally.
As per the data collected by Institute of Grocery Distribution, also known as the IGD, as many as 54% of consumers in the grocery industry have shown an inkling towards buying food that has been produced and sourced locally, owing to the desire to extend their support to farmers and producers that belong to their local market. 

Similarly, if you hire from the local talent pool of your neighborhood, your customers will get the idea that you are truly invested in the development of your neighborhood and its growth. 
It is easier to build a network-  

Most companies provide incentives and raises in the paycheck for referring somebody. This is the most common pattern followed by most companies, whereby they encourage the new recruit to go ahead and recommend the company to their friends and ask them to join it. 

Most people want to be in a working environment where their friends surround them and this helps build trust, efficiency and productivity of the company. The entire workforce functions as one entity, whereby everyone is close-knit. Building such a network will prove to be really hard if you hire people from all over the world. However, if you choose to hire locally, building such a well-knit network is not that hard.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Helping Create A Culture Of High Trust And High Performance

It is important to imbibe a workplace culture that values and encourages trust amongst its consecutive members. According to neuroscientific studies, it has been found that an environment that promotes trust is known to reduce social frictions, while allowing colleagues to work cooperatively, thereby increasing the productivity and efficiency of the entire workforce. 

neuroscientific studies

You might have streamline processes in your organization and ensured that each department works efficiently after rigorous testing, improving and measuring. However, it is not essential that your company would fare well and function in the most optimal manner, if you neglect one important aspect of any workplace environment. 

This important aspect that is being referred to is the culture of the workplace. It has been found according to various neuroscientific studies that organizational trust is an important booster that helps people in a workforce avoid conflicts amongst themselves and strive towards completing a particular task as a team, thereby bringing about higher standards of innovation and productivity in the company. The release of oxytocin in the brain allows individuals to better trust their colleagues and this in turn encourages them to give their best in achieving something in a collective manner. 

Trust in one dimension in any business model that always has the scope for improvement. Recognizing excellence, creating challenges, delegating in a generous manner, enabling a culture of job crafting, sharing information broadly, building relationships intentionally, facilitating the growth of a person on a holistic level and being authentic and vulnerable are some techniques which companies can utilize in order to promote a high trust culture in their organization. 

A consequent result of creating a culture that keeps trust on such a high pedestal will result in the realization of a workforce that is well equipped to handle and provide high performance, thereby improving the productivity and efficiency of the organization.