News & Events
LAHAD DATU, Wed. (Apr 15, 2009) - Efforts are being made to expose students in this East Coast district to career opportunities in the oil palm industry.
Through a series of career talks in secondary schools here and in neighbouring Kunak, state-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd is hoping to encourage students to pick oil palm-related options when they ponder their study and career choices.
"This is part of our corporate responsibility program. We are also hoping to help the development of human resources to support the growth of the oil palm upstream and downstream industries," a spokesman for POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd said. "One of the objectives of our company is to deepen the oil palm industry, and for this we need to have the right human resources."
The talks were first introduced in 2007 as one of the company's stakeholders programmes in Lahad Datu, where it is developing the 1,150-acre Lahad Datu palm oil industrial cluster project to promote palm oil downstream industries. Other activities included cooking (with palm oil) competition, children's drawing and colouring competition and mangrove rejuvenation.
This year's talks are being conducted with the participation of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, IOI Corp Bhd, Lahad Datu Edible Oil and Felda Lahad Datu.
The talks kicked off in Kunak last week in SMK Madai, SMK Kunak Jaya and SM Ugama Kunak. A total of about 850 students from form 3 to form 5 attended the talks.
The talks continue in SM St Dominic and SMK Teknik, Lahad Datu, this week, and will cover all secondary schools here before the end of this month.
According to the POIC spokesman, responses gathered from students in previous talks indicated that most perceived oil palm-related careers as no more than estate labourers or plantation supervisors.
"There's very little awareness about jobs in the downstream sector. Therefore they are also not aware of training opportunities in MPOB or the many vocational and skills institutions in Sabah.
"This is ironic because most of our target students literally live in oil palm plantations, and many of them have families who are small-holders, yet all they could think of in terms of careers are labourers, teachers or security guards," he said. "We hope to change that. "
Students at SM Sains, Lahad Datu, listening attentively during the career guidance brief.
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