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Abstract
In recent times, the younger generation have access to a variety of training institutions to acquire talent or skill in a particular industry. However, the employment prospects for their graduates remain dubious. In the majority of developing nations, particularly in the agriculture sector, graduate employability has long been a significant problem. A number of studies have revealed that agricultural employment has been declining around the world. This declining trend is believed to have occurred because of the shift of employment from agriculture to non-agriculture sectors such as manufacturing and services. Despite having more students in tertiary education who study for agriculture courses, the number of graduates who consider agriculture as an ideal sector to work remains smaller. Other factors that could also affect employability in the agriculture sector are the 3D (dirty, dangerous and difficult) elements in agriculture and perhaps a mismatch between graduate employability skills and the needs of the industry. Therefore, this study aims to identify the factors that affect the employability of National Agricultural Skills Training Program (PLKPK) graduates as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of this program. This study involved 441 graduates who completed their studies from 2015 – 2019 across Malaysia using a structured questionnaire. The survey was conducted using face-to-face and online survey. The data were analysed using descriptive and cross-tabulation analysis. The results showed that 63% of graduates were employed including self-employment. On top of that, some of the graduates choose to further their studies. Among the graduates who have worked, 43% were working in a similar field of their study while others were working in a different field. This PLKPK programme has the potential to create trained agricultural workers as well as agricultural entrepreneurs. Although they are capable of beginning their own firm, the biggest obstacle will be lack of funding. Therefore, a key element that might foster graduate capacity building, the driving force behind the development of soft skills, is the strengthening of the graduates through the institutions and closer collaboration with industry.

Abstrak
Pada masa kini, golongan muda mempunyai pelbagai institusi latihan untuk memperoleh bakat atau kemahiran dalam industri tertentu. Walau bagaimanapun, prospek pekerjaan untuk graduan masih meragukan. Di kebanyakan negara membangun, terutamanya dalam sektor pertanian, kebolehpasaran graduan telah lama menjadi masalah yang ketara. Beberapa kajian telah mendedahkan bahawa pekerjaan pertanian telah berkurangan di seluruh dunia. Trend kemerosotan ini dipercayai berlaku kerana peralihan guna tenaga daripada sektor pertanian kepada sektor bukan pertanian seperti pembuatan dan perkhidmatan. Walaupun mempunyai lebih ramai pelajar dalam pendidikan tinggi yang mengikuti kursus pertanian, bilangan graduan yang menganggap pertanian sebagai sektor yang ideal untuk bekerja kekal lebih kecil. Faktor lain yang juga boleh menjejaskan kebolehpasaran dalam sektor pertanian ialah elemen 3D dalam pertanian dan mungkin ketidakpadanan antara kemahiran kebolehkerjaan siswazah dan keperluan industri. Oleh itu, kajian ini bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti faktorfaktor yang mempengaruhi kebolehpasaran graduan Program Latihan Kemahiran Pertanian Kebangsaan (PLKPK) serta menilai keberkesanan program ini. Kajian ini melibatkan 441 graduan yang menamatkan pengajian dari 2015 – 2019 di seluruh Malaysia menggunakan soal selidik berstruktur. Tinjauan dijalankan menggunakan tinjauan bersemuka dan dalam talian. Data dianalisis menggunakan analisis deskriptif dan penjadualan silang. Keputusan menunjukkan 63% graduan bekerja termasuk bekerja sendiri. Selain itu, sebahagian daripada graduan memilih untuk melanjutkan pelajaran. Di kalangan graduan yang telah bekerja, ia menunjukkan bahawa 43% bekerja dalam bidang pengajian yang sama manakala yang lain bekerja dalam bidang yang berbeza. Program PLKPK ini berpotensi melahirkan tenaga kerja pertanian terlatih dan juga usahawan pertanian. Walaupun mereka mampu memulakan firma mereka sendiri, halangan terbesar ialah kekurangan dana. Oleh itu, elemen utama yang mungkin memupuk pembinaan kapasiti graduan, penggerak di sebalik pembangunan kemahiran insaniah adalah pengukuhan graduan melalui institusi dan kerjasama yang lebih erat dengan industri.

 

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