Nelson Mosinoh has been an enterprising man since his youth. He identified the necessity to provide needs-based training and worked closely with companies to train school leavers to fill their vacancies, providing a win-win outcome for all. In an interview with Education+Tvet Asia, he talks about his journey in establishing Gain ForLife and the positive impact it created on youths in Sabah.
Born in Sandakan in 1978, Nelson Mosinoh graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Universiti Utara Malaysia in 2000, and an MBA from Universiti Malaysia Sabah in 2009.
Upon graduating with his Bachelor’s Degree (year 2000), he went to work for a private company for two years before establishing his company known as Gain Forlife Sdn Bhd in 2004 at the young age of 26 years old.
Carrying the slogan, ‘Synergizing the Industries’ Human Capital Needs Through TVET’, and with a total industry partner of more than 35 companies, Gain Forlife Sdn Bhd was declared as the 1st industry-led academy in Borneo by the local industry association in the year of 2016.
“The company always makes it a point that whatever product or services that we offer to our clients, it must be according to the client’s needs,” shares Nelson Mosinoh. “Mismatch between graduates’ talent and company’s needs can be reduced by ensuring that youths are given the right skills training.”
With their ability to do job matching, 98% of Gain Forlife’s students are employed, upon completing their skills training program.
“By next year, we are going to expand our focus into plantation training. There is so much employment opportunity in this sector that the Sabahans youth can look into. It just needs some modification to attract the locals to work in this sector. We will take this as our personal challenge and would strive to help the industry solve their manpower shortage issue while helping the local youths gain employment,” says Nelson who has made it his personal goal to get local youths in Sabah to be attracted with a career in the plantation industry.
“As with most businesses, Gain Forlife also had to endure the unforgiving pandemic’s negative impact. Hands down, it is the scariest and greatest challenge we ever had to face since our establishment.”
“Nobody knew how to react to it. We had to close our centre and stop running our classes during the lockdown. We were considering laying off half of our staff. Thankfully, the incentives provided by the government helped us to stay afloat and pay the salaries of our employees, so nobody got laid off!” Nelson says.
“We managed to increase the number of staff we had in June 2020, after the lockdown was over, as we answered the call to train and upskill unemployed youths. The business picked up more aggressively after that,” he adds.
Nelson shares that his team’s passion and enthusiasm for their work motivates him to keep going. He is also motivated by students getting jobs after attending his company’s training programmes. The icing on the cake was when parents came to thank Nelson and his staff for helping their kids land jobs.
“We are in the business of making a difference in helping people get employed. That feeling is indescribable,” explains Nelson.
“The youth unemployment rate in Sabah is currently the highest in the country in the first quarter of 2022, at 9.1% or 184,000. It is estimated that the number of unemployed youths in Sabah will increase to more than 200,000 by the year 2024 should the government fail to address this issue seriously. Every year an average of 40,000 students in Sabah will sit for the SPM and 50% of them would continue their tertiary studies while the balance would either remain jobless or struggle to get a job. With the increase of minimum wages to RM1,500 per month, employers would prefer to employ either unemployed graduates or SPM leavers with working experience. This will put the fresh SPM leavers at a disadvantage,” he adds.
To overcome this issue, Nelson suggests that the federal government should form a special task force to address the unemployment issue strategically. Every state has its own unique employment challenges. For instance, in Johor most Malaysian youths choose to work in Singapore for a better pay which causes manpower shortage in Johor.
While in Sabah, there is a lack of employment opportunities as there are just not enough big industries to cater to the needs of employment.
Looking at the above-mentioned scenarios, we cannot just find one solution that fits for all. The task force needs to address the issues and find solutions based on every state’s unique employment challenges.
In addition, he also urged the government to emphasise on the National Dual Training System (NDTS) or SLDN. This training system is the best in Malaysia as it is industry-driven and focuses 70% -80% on practical training. Adopted from the German Dual Vocational Training, NDTS has proven to produce the right talent with the right skills with 95% of the graduates securing a job upon completion. This could be the gateway to achieving a 35% skilled workforce by the year 2030.