If you’ve just graduated from college or university or you’re already thinking about your vocation during your studies, you ought to know that you can obtain the knowledge and skills you need to kickstart your career by becoming an apprentice.
Apprenticeship may not be as prominent as internship when it comes to gaining real-world work experience before entering the workforce, but it has been a popular form of job training for centuries, with different countries having their own systems.
While traditionally designed to provide a skilled workforce for the likes of manufacturing and construction, apprenticeship has since expanded to high-skilled professions in a wider range of fields, such as technology, engineering, healthcare, accounting, business, marketing and media.
In general, apprenticeship is undertaken by school leavers for the long term of between one to four years, depending on the country or the employer.
Most of them tend to have a clear idea of the field they want to work in and the career path they want to pursue.
As apprentices, they usually work full time and on a rotational basis between different departments. Throughout their training, they make use of the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they’ve obtained through their studies and to improve themselves by carrying out actual job tasks.
Should they perform well, they are more likely to be hired by the employer whether during or after their apprenticeship programme.
Apprenticeship opportunities in Malaysia
Apprenticeship programmes in Malaysia are usually offered by large-scale companies, including Digi CXO Apprentice Programme, Global Maybank Apprentice Programme (GMAP) and CIMB Fusion Programme.
In July 2020, the Malaysian Government, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Resource and the Ministry of Works, launched the National Apprenticeship Scheme (SPN) in efforts to help youths who have been struggling to find work and who became unemployed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The scheme aims to increase the marketability of apprentices through ‘soft skills’ and on-the-job training, provide a support system for youths to gain employment, and reduce youth unemployment rate.
Based on the Human Resources Development Fund’s ‘place and train’ concept, SPN offers more than 10,000 job opportunities from the private sector and government-linked companies to youths as a way of enhancing their employability through real-world training and working opportunities.
Those selected for the scheme will receive a monthly allowance of up to RM2,000 from participating companies. Apprentices will also be evaluated continuously and trained will the necessary skills through reskilling, upskilling or cross-skilling by their respective employers.
Furthermore, should their apprenticeship requires transferring to a different location that is over 100km away, apprentices will receive a one-off mobility allowance of RM600 (within Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan) or RM1,000 (between West and East Malaysia), which will be made once they report for duty.
Youths who want to apply for SPN can do so at http://perantisan.kbs.gov.my/kriteria.php.
They must be Malaysians aged 35 and below who possess a SPM, STPM, Diploma or Bachelor’s Degree certificate that is recognised by the Malaysian and foreign governments or other equivalent qualifications.
They must also be able to communicate and write well in Bahasa Melayu and English, do not have a criminal record, are not bankrupt, and are willing to join the apprenticeship programme full time.