Dust Off and Try Again

Shortly after signing the retrenchment letter, my former colleague and I agreed to try implementing similar project by ourselves. We geared up our team, and we kick-start the project named “Graduate Employability Programme”. This programme specifically caters for the diploma and degree unemployed graduates under the HRDF Generate 2.0 Scheme.

In this scheme, HRDF will fund up to RM10,000 per pax, depending on the programme structure, training duration and nature of job provided to the graduates. We team up with a HRDF registered training provider and we managed to go through all the processes, passing all the basic requirements and I still remember how we leap for joy once we gotten the green light from HRDF to start the programme, by ourselves!

In less than 2 weeks, we managed to recruit 35 unemployed graduates to join our training programme. These students found our programme via social media advertisements. Luckily, I have gone through the same recruitment process back in my previous job, and this time, I have perfected the methodology and processes of promoting the programme and decided to advertise the programme solely via ads in Facebook and Instagram.


All 35 candidates managed to secure jobs mainly in the retail sectors. They received the offer letter upon completion of the training programme. The programme is a success.

Being the one who is responsible to recruit the youths is nothing like stealing candy from a baby. Although we provide guaranteed placement once they finish the programme, we still have to cater for their emotional wellbeing during the training, macro factors such as the geo-location of the desired workplace, and negotiation with the industry on the benefits and salary packages. We need to be different than the rest of the training providers in Malaysia. Thus, by providing free training and guaranteed employment, it gave us an edge and a unique selling points to market.

Soon after, we have harvested the crops from the seed we sow, and we are extremely happy! Until….

It happened again! The training provider that we collaborate with had a dispute among the shareholders and decided to stop operating. That means, we have to pull our hand break too.

Why can’t we do it ourselves?

In order to be able to claim the fund under HRDF, the training provider must be a registered training provider with HRDF, and the trainer must have a Train the Trainer (TTT) certification… which both of us are not (at that time)!

I could not express the disappointment I had… But I do learn a lot of things, and importantly, each and every failure that I have experienced, it taught me valuable lessons that is not written in any of the textbooks.

It teaches me the lesson in start-up business, that we are alone swimming in red sea full of sharks and we must be creative and unique enough to stand out and to be seen.

Never give up. Dust off, try and try again.