‘Become multi-skilled to improve job prospects’

National 2 minutes, 18 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

HIGHER education students and graduates must become all-rounders to improve their employability as employers require versatile workers who can work in the age of globalisation, said a senior economic adviser to the Department of Economic Planning and Development.

Hans-Jurgen Reitzig said there is no longer a differentiation between local and international economic activities as the economy is now more globalised, resulting in the need to have employees who are able to adapt to changes.

During a seminar for more than 260 university students and graduates yesterday, he said tertiary education students must be more flexible and receptive towards learning new skills, especially those outside of their courses, to compete with others in the job market.

Most companies need an “all-rounder” who can bring their businesses on par with others in the international arena, he said.

He said companies need to develop new products, monitor technological progress and find out which new concept will form the basis for technological advances.

All of these, he said, may be better addressed when the professionals employed have other skills besides those used to conduct their specialist or main tasks.

“Only when young professionals have demonstrated their abilities can they be promoted to an executive position. They don’t have to primarily demonstrate specialist skills but rather be an ‘all-rounder’ capable of accomplishing various tasks,” he said.

Speaking on the sidelines of the seminar at Institut Teknologi Brunei, he said higher education institutions can introduce modules that train students to better manage projects because most organisations require employees capable of handling projects.

“If you work in a company and have started as a young applicant, you would have to ‘solve’ many projects to prove your capabilities in your special field to your employers.

“You would be required to work well with your teammates and maybe the department itself.”

Reitzig said one has to be more flexible to accept and learn other skills gained from work experience and exchanges of ideas with colleagues.

“In a globalised economy, the only thing that is constant is ‘change’, so if you have to ‘change’ every day, your personal competitiveness must be flexible,” he said.

He said students can opt for a job in any industry they are targeting, but they will always have to manage projects assigned to them, making flexibility in learning new skills a necessity to adjust to changing economic conditions.

While one may be a specialist in a field, it may also be necessary for that person to be able to prepare cost accounts or calculations, interpret key figures and adjust to the laws necessary to their company’s core businesses, he added.

“That’s why through this seminar, I hope they can be flexible; to be more open towards new knowledge and skills.”

The Brunei Times