KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants local youths to improve their personal qualities and attitudes to help them meet the characteristics employers look for in employees, such as committed, diligent, resilient and capable of working as a team.
According to the prime minister, other qualities they should have are a strong desire to learn, ability to work under pressure and a proactive attitude.
Dr Mahathir said this in reply to Ma’mun Sulaiman (Warisan-Kalabakan) on the government’s efforts to reduce the youth unemployment rate and to help them secure jobs, at the Dewan Rakyat sitting here today.
He said based on the Labour Force Survey Report by the Department of Statistics, the youth unemployment rate was recorded at 10.9 per cent in 2018.
“Among the factors identified to have contributed to youth unemployment in Malaysia were inadequate skills, qualifications and work experience, as well as unmatched skill sets,” he said during the Minister’s Question Time.
Dr Mahathir also pointed out that unemployment among youths aged between 15 to 24 was a common phenomenon faced by many developing and developed countries in the world, including Malaysia.
He said this was because those in that age group were said to be in the process of transition from the learning environment to the realities of the job market.
Meanwhile, the prime minister said the unemployment rate in Malaysia stood at 3.3 per cent last year, which is still in the full employment category.
“According to the definition given by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 1999, countries with unemployment rates below four per cent are categorised as having full employment,” he explained.
Nevertheless, he said in a bid to help the people, including youths, the government had also undertaken various initiatives, such as creating the recruitment portal, JobsMalaysia, which had succeeded in helping 3,890 local job seekers to secure jobs between January and March this year.
In fact, he said that the government had also set up a one-stop centre to provide professional consultation to job seekers to secure jobs and training; created a Graduate Enhancement Programme for Employability (Generate) to help unemployed graduates to develop skills through training in high-impact fields; fine-tuned and expanded the apprentice and industrial training programmes; and empowered the National Dual Training System (NDTS).
“The government will, from time to time, continue improving the existing initiatives and creating more programmes and mechanisms to help the people secure jobs and to reduce the unemployment rate in the country,” Dr Mahathir said.
In reply to Ma’mun’s supplementary question on suitable infrastructure to lure investors to Sabah, especially Kalabakan, the prime minister said the government would look into the need to have such infrastructure in the parliamentary constituency.
“We can encourage them to invest in Kalabakan, but if they find that the condition there is unsuitable for industrial purposes, they will definitely opt for other places which already have adequate infrastructures.
“If Kalabakan does not have the infrastructure needed by the investors, then the government will study the possibility to provide suitable infrastructure for Kalabakan to attract investors,” he added. – Bernama