About 75,000 out of 300,000 fresh graduates are projected to encounter some challenges in finding jobs within six months after graduation following the impact of COVID-19, said Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad.
She said based on the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE)’s Graduate Tracer Study (GTS) for 2019, it showed that 41,161 graduates remained unemployed and with an additional 75,000 to graduate this year it is estimated that 116,161 graduates need to be given attention to further increase their marketability.
Speaking at the MOHE’s National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) Career Advancement Programme (PENJANA KPT-CAP), Noraini said that several steps had been implemented by the ministry to help affected graduates by providing funding assistance to those who want to pursue a tertiary education.
The funding assistance includes MyBrain Science, Higher Education Minister scholarship and financial assistance for students with disabilities, she said.
Job matching process for unemployed graduates, in collaboration with the Social Security Organisation (Socso) via the MyFutureJobs portal has also been implemented, Noraini said in her speech at the event, which was launched by Prime Minister Tan Sir Muhyiddin Yassin.
She added that the ministry is working together with the National Entrepreneur Group Economic Fund (Tekun Nasional) by introducing a micro financing scheme for students to help them grow and improve their businesses.
To assist new graduates, Noraini said the ministry has developed the Graduates Reference Hub for Employment and Training (GREaT) which offers services such as job matching, reskilling and upskilling programmes, as well as grants for further education and career counselling.
Meanwhile, she said that a total of 189,543 out of 330, 557 graduates manage to find employment within six months after graduation; 49,875 graduates are pursuing tertiary education, while 4,029 are undergoing training to improve skills and 13,943 are still waiting for job placement.
Noraini said that the government has allocated RM100 million to the ministry, which will benefit 20,000 graduates involving synergies with over 100 companies.
“I am confident that with the right strategy, we can achieve greater success to help increase the marketability of graduates and contribute to the economic empowerment of the country,” she said.
She added that the programme will commence from Oct 16 until Dec 31 at 20 selected public universities, polytechnics and community colleges while job placement for programme participants will start on Jan 1.