Addressing the issue of joblessness

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By BERNAMA

The government seeks to ensure employability for youths, senior citizens and former convicts.

Most of the efforts are focusing on the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) programmes — two critical components of the country’s Industry 4.0 push.

Besides RM30 million for the TVET Prestige Fund and RM20 million to raise youth competency via a TVET-sponsored Bootcamp, the Human Resources Development Fund will launch two new programmes — “Apprenticeship” and “Graduate Enhancement Programme for Employability” — which are expected to benefit at least 4,000 graduates.

The government also introduced two new policies to encourage employment for those above the retirement age of 60. It is projected that one million Malaysians aged between 61 and 65 are expected to remain active and productive in the year 2020.

However, Arkitek Punca Cipta principal Nasharuddin Abdul Majid said as an employer, he would only hire senior citizens who truly need the money to work.

“I would only give youths a chance at working because the market is just too difficult for them, and their theory know-ledge is more up-to-date. Senior citizens who don’t need the money shouldn’t have to return to the workforce,” he said.

The government will also provide an additional tax deduction for companies who employ ex-convicts up to a monthly salary of RM4,000.

The move may reduce the stigma of hiring former convicts.