Shafie: Govt needs to intensify efforts for employment of graduates

by HARIZAH KAMEL / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

THE government needs to intensify efforts to create more employment opportunities for university graduates.

Parti Warisan (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (picture) said this is to provide balanced equity in the national job market, especially to the middle and low qualified Bottom-40 (B40) group.

“For this purpose, it is proposed that the government prioritise the gig economy and entrepreneurship for graduates who are looking for employment. In addition, contract positions with government agencies and government-owned companies can be offered to them. 

“This is an effective measure to enable them to survive in times of pandemic,” he said in a statement today.

Referring to the Department of Statistics Malaysia’s (DoSM) data in July, a total of 778,200 Malaysians lost their jobs or are still unemployed, an increase of 4.8% from the previous month.

The unemployment rate in July 2021 was the highest for the year. 

Mohd Shafie noted that although the government has allocated RM530 billion in the previous eight Economic Stimulus Packages, the unemployment rate continues to rise without a precise solution.

He also said the issue of mismatch in the country’s labour market should be addressed immediately so that it does not hinder the country’s ongoing economic recovery efforts.

Last year, 260,701 graduates were ready to enter the job market.

However, the number of jobs by qualification available to graduates is only 73,000, down 31,000 from the previous year, resulting in many of them getting jobs below their qualifications.

He highlighted that the impact of under-qualification employment is huge as it affects the marketability of the middle and low educated B40 group to get employment.

“Studies show that underemployment leads to a larger poverty gap for the lower B40 group. They lose their jobs when their jobs are taken by university graduates and can cause them to fall into the urban poor group. 

“It also has similar implications for the middle-income group, M40 who are between 45 and 60 years old. Job losses could cause more M40s to fall into the B40 income bracket and this should be curbed,” he added.