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MAA, 4As and MSA work together for first time to overcome shortage of quality talent [25-07-2012]  
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The three biggest associations representing the marketing communications industry have for the first time come together to tackle the shortage of quality talents by introducing a graduate fellowship programme.

The Malaysian Advertisers Association (MAA), the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As) and the Media Specialists Association (MSA) are working together to attract fresh graduates or anyone else who wish to enter the advertising industry.

Selected candidates will undergo a three-month fellowship at participating agencies while attending an intensive programme conducted by 95% The Advertising Academy in the evening.

MAA president Khoo Kar Khoon said the three associations came together because their industries complemented each other and faced the same problerm of quality talent shortage.

“There is a mismatch of what is taught in higher learning institutions and what is required by the industry.

“The objective of the programme is to bridge that gap so that candidates are able to perform at work immediately,” he said at a joint press conference by the three associations.

4As vice-president Datuk Johnny Mun said the advertising and communications industry was losing talent to other industries like the financial sector due to the initial remuneration package offered by the latter. “The offer in this industry may not be as attractive at the initial stage of a career but it can be lucrative if the candidate is capable.

“This is an industry where you are rewarded on merit,” he said.

“There is misperception of people towards the industry.

“Many people do not know what we are really doing. In fact, it is a profession that help others build brands.”

MSA president Ranganathan Somanathan said this effort was in line with the Government's vision to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation.

“This programme aims to harness the potential of our people and set them up to win in the world of knowledge and innovation economy,” he said.

Khoo, Mun and Ranganathan agreed that the candidates would be selected based on their attributes as well as attitude.

Potential candidates should be good problem-solvers, be fluent in written and spoken English, possess strong leadership qualities, be creative and hold at least a second upper class (cumulative grade point average of 3.3) in any discipline.

“We emphasise on the quality and not the quantity,” Mun said.

Twelve candidates would be chosen for this pilot programme. Successful candidates will receive a monthly allowance and 50% of the training fees from sponsoring agencies.

Interested applicants can submit their applications now.

The course commences on Aug 16, 2012.

95% The Advertising Academy is run by industry practitioners with extensive experience.

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