KUCHING: The Graduates Enhancement Training Sarawak (GETS) 4.0 programme continues to receive strong interest and demand from public and private agencies, said Sarawak State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion.
He revealed that over a period of three years, more than 5,000 applications were received from graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and non-STEM backgrounds throughout Sarawak.
“More opportunities will be offered to graduates to join the GETS 4.0 programme for the next cohort — Year 2021/2022 — to allow for more unemployed graduates to benefit from the programme,” he said.
He said this in his welcoming remarks at the virtual GETS 4.0 programme launch, which was officiated at by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg yesterday (Sept 15).
He explained that GETS 4.0 was a 12-month on-the-job training and internship programme where graduates from STEM and non-STEM backgrounds were attached to selected agencies based on their educational backgrounds.
He said it was introduced as a platform to enhance new working skills and to upskill graduates’ competencies to be in line with the Sarawak Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022 and future workplace requirements.
“The first cohort kicked off in 2019 with a total number of 535 applications from both STEM and non-STEM backgrounds. After going through the required assessments, 321 passed and were attached to government agencies, government-linked companies (GLCs) and the private sector.
“Cohort 2 commenced last year and Cohort 3 this year with a total of 301 and 437 interns respectively being attached to various industries,” said Jaul.
He said most of them were in Kuching but there were a number of interns attached to Resident’s Offices in every division as well as at the Digital Community Centres in the rural areas.
He said from the reports, it was found that from 2019 to this year, 20 percent of about 214 interns had been offered jobs by companies such as Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Sarawak Information Systems Sdn Bhd (SAINS), Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), Sarawak Digital Economy Corporation (SDEC), and many others.
“Six percent of about 65 interns were employed by the companies they were attached to. This means that the main objective of this programme is slowly being achieved,” he said.
He added that some training contents in GETS 4.0 would be aligned with the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030 strategic economic sectors.
“With this programme, we are hopeful and optimistic that interns or graduates will be better equipped when seeking job opportunities.
“It is also hoped that the skills they obtain during their internship will place them in higher income jobs as aspired by PCDS 2030,” he said.
He urged interns to take full advantage of this programme, noting that there were still many out there still looking for employment.
Jaul added that strong emphasis would be given to soft skills training for GETS interns as this was important for better employment.
“Courses such as presentation skills, communication skills, confidence building and how to create a good first impression in the workplace will help GETS interns to increase their self-esteem, develop cognitive skills and instil the trait of not giving up when facing challenges.
“This allows interns to have a realistic perspective of work and workplace expectations, develop problem-solving skills, make appropriate and reasonable decisions as well as create the desire to achieve high work performance,” he said.