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BANGI, Sept 28 — The economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic could add more hurdles to some 75,000 fresh graduates in finding employment this year, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad said today.
She said the estimation is based on last year’s unemployment figures among fresh graduates, where out of 330,557 persons, 41,161 or 13.8 per cent remain unemployed.
“In 2020, it is estimated that 300,000 graduates are due to complete their respective education. Taking into account the impact of Covid-19, the ministry estimates that 25 per cent or 75,000 potential graduates will have their employment opportunities disrupted, six months after they graduated.
“Therefore, based on 41,161 graduates that has yet to be employed in 2019, as well as the 75,000 potential graduates for this year, it is estimated that 116,161 graduates that needed attention in increasing their employability,’’ she said in her speech while launching her ministry’s Career Advancement programme at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia here.
Last year 189,543 out of 330,557 graduates managed to be employed six months after they had graduated, said Noraini.
To assist new graduates, the ministry has developed the Graduates Reference Hub for Employment and Training (GREaT) to offer services such as jobs matching, reskilling and upskilling programmes, as well as grants for further education, among others.
The ministry’s career advancement programme was also allocated RM100 million under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).
In total, approximately RM35 billion was allocated to the 40 Penjana initiatives to help Malaysia’s economy recover from measures instituted to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry was aiming to assist some 20,000 graduates under the scheme that included 140 individual programmes undertaken in collaboration with 100 separate firms.
Recently, the Department of Statistics Malaysia revealed that the unemployment rate fell to 4.7 per cent In July from 4.9 per cent in June and 5.3 per cent in May.
The Perikatan Nasional government typically uses the headline unemployment rate as a proxy measure for the effectiveness of its various stimulus packages.