April 2017: Facts of Life
There are 200,00 jobless graduates but they can’t be hired because they know little or no English.
In sales and services, and IT, English is required, and foreigners are being hired.
In Myanmar, India and The Philippines, they learn English at school.
92% in The Philippines speak English.
46% in Nepal speak English.
80% in Singapore speak English.
2 May 2017
Unfair to say all local workers poor in English, says MTUC
Instead of complaining that local workers cannot speak well, employers should provide training to improve English proficiency among their workers, says Malaysian Trades Union Congress.
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) said it is unfair for companies to generalise that local workers have a poor command of English and, therefore, not give them priority for jobs.
Its secretary-general J Solomon said this would be an injustice.
“It is undeniable that the standard of English among Malaysian workers has dropped compared to 30 years ago.
“But for the MEF (Malaysian Employers Federation) to say that local workers are worse English speakers compared with Myanmar and Philippine workers is unfair, and it is demoralising for locals,” he said.
Solomon said instead of complaining that local workers could not speak well, the bosses should provide training and classes to improve English proficiency among their workers.
“They have a responsibility towards their employees. How can workers progress if they do not learn?” he asked.
Solomon said what Prime Minister Najib Razak had said in his Labour Day speech yesterday was what the trade group had been emphasising all this while.
“Foreign workers are just to complement local workers, and should not be brought in to replace the locals,” Solomon added.
30 April 2017
Foreigners hired as locals can’t speak English, MEF says
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has voiced frustration over the continued shortage of qualified English-speaking workers, saying it is costing the country dearly.
Its executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said despite there being about 200,000 jobless graduates in Malaysia who could fill vacancies in the sales and services sectors, many companies were hiring foreigners who spoke English for these positions.
He said the services industry which accounted for 60% of the economy required workers who could converse well in English.
“Even for simple sales jobs, we depend on people from Myanmar and the Philippines to fill the void,” he told FMT.
“We are constantly facing problems to fill positions requiring locals to speak and write in English. This is not good for us.”
He said years of “flip-flopping” in regard to education policies had contributed to the problem.
The education system has had to bear with inconsistent policies with no priority given to learning English, he added.
He added that employers also needed people talented in big data – a skill to analyse large data sets to reveal patterns, trends, and associations – to help identify economic conditions.
Shamsuddin said Malaysian employers were currently hiring experts from Bangalore, India, to perform this specialised work.
“About 20% of our economy is based on the digital economy. But shockingly we are not prioritising on developing big data analysts,” he said.
25 April 2017
How many people speak English: 92%
What it’s like as an English speaker: American English isn’t merely Filipinos’ second language; it’s how many of them communicate regardless of who’s in the mix. Beyond America’s 50-year occupation (1898-1946, when Uncle Sam built hundreds of English-teaching schools, basketball courts, and Hollywood movie theaters), Filipinos also celebrate English words by singing, everywhere, all the time. They invented karaoke and perfected live music, a legacy of the lounge and rock bands that sprang up around Vietnam-era military bases that needed entertaining. Base towns became live Western-music hubs, and that scene remains a huge reason to visit this ultra-friendly tropical country.
What the Philippines has to offer: The Philippines is all about variety in landscapes and personality. In its 7,000 islands, you’ll find hundreds of idyllic tropical beaches, mountainous cloud forests, and Manila, the dazzling, kinda-haywire city of 17 million. It’s traditional yet faddish, Asian in character but Western in disposition. Every neighborhood has multiple sing-along bars with non-canned music ranging from sitar/bongo duos to American Idol winner-types. Outdoor bargain cafes/traveler hangouts serving 75-cent bottles of cold beer abound, all spinning tunes from their massive classic rock and blues inventories. If you make only one stop: Hit the Hobbit House, a Downtown Manila institution. Gritty and gonzo, it’s their version of CBGB — an everyone-aboard live-rock club — with the distinct twist of being staffed by little people. — Bruce Northam, Thrillist contributor