The initial meeting of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit, Youth Advisory Group took place yesterday.  The Youth Advisory Group has been formed under Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit as a means to allow young leaders and the youth to contribute positively to the issues that are facing them.  Currently, the largest problem that is facing young people especially fresh graduates is the ability to find meaningful employment.

“We need to ensure young leaders are given a voice and youth perceptive is maintained in each and every one of our programs, to be more relevant to current issues to do that Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit has formed the Youth Advisory Group and has appointed Cheah Kar Fei, Former President of AIESEC, as the group’s first convenor” Stated Nordin Abdullah, Organising Chairman of the Summit.

“The last thing we want to see is the youth taking to the streets as they feel they have no other avenues to be heard.  Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit is positioned to be one of the leading platforms, both locally and internationally, for young leaders to engage with other stakeholders, allowing their voice to be heard in a way that can be understood by all.” Added Nordin

“The current issue that we are addressing is youth unemployment, especially looking at the problem of fresh graduates not entering the work force, according to recent government statistics, Malaysia currently has 71,600 unemployed fresh graduates, and overall youth (15-35) unemployment exceeds 10% even though the overall economy is growing at 5.5% annually, and overall unemployment is only 3.2%. “As a youth leader, as a soon to be fresh graduate, I cannot let this trend continue, there must be solutions and young leaders have a role to play” Stated Cheah Kar Fei, the convenor of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit, Youth Advisory Group

The Youth Advisory Group has come up with several solutions including:

  • Extended internships especially for fresh graduates, as they may have a good knowledge base from their education they are yet to develop the skills required for them to be valuable to employers and for those companies that taking on extended interns to receive a double tax deduction from the government.
  • For the private sector to take a more active role, with the creation of in-house mentor programs with certain staff becoming designated mentors.  This would also encourage fresh graduates to take these positions as they are going to get more out of the employer than just a salary, which in most cases are seen as too low for fresh graduates.
  • To explore the possibility of career and employment guidance after the graduation, this may take place with the universities or as a standalone activity.
  • And to have increased international sharing of best practices and collaboration with other stakeholders as youth unemployment is not unique to one country but effects developed and developing countries alike.
  • For Youth start-up companies to consider the use of flexible workspace providers as a means of projecting a professional image and reduction of cost at the initial phase of business.

“I want to ensure all relevant people are engaged, we need to utilise a broad set of expertise, and to unlock the potential of many of our young leaders.  This will ensure that the solutions and recommendations that made will have a chance of gaining traction” added KarFei.

The Stakeholder Roundtable will be held on the 26th of February in Putrajaya ahead of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Summit which is scheduled for May, 2013.  This will allow for a broader perspective on the measures that are being proposed by the Youth Advisory Group and for all relevant stakeholders to contribute to the solutions.

The Youth Advisory Group was sponsored by Regus which is the largest provider of flexible work spaces in the world.

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