The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) has suggested that the government provide incentives such as tax relief to employers who hire first-time job-seekers.
MEF executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said this would encourage more companies to hire inexperienced youths.
“The government may even want to think about matching the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) contribution.
“Let’s say if they are employed, instead of the company contributing to the first-timers’ EPF, the government could make the contribution, say, for the first six months to a year.
“The government may also provide double tax deductions to these employers,” he told FMT.
He was commenting on a statement by Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali that about 500,000 Malaysians were currently jobless.
“The highest number of unemployed are from the younger group who are just entering the job market,” Azmin told the Dewan Rakyat.
Shamsuddin said companies were reluctant to hire fresh graduates because they did not have any work experience.
He advised fresh graduates to be more flexible and presentable when meeting potential employers.
“Failure in communication and failure to impress the employers are among the reasons why companies are reluctant to hire young job-seekers.”
Shamsuddin said increasing the minimum retirement age from 55 to 60 in 2012 for private sector employees had also contributed to the high number of unemployed graduates.
Currently, about 500,000 Malaysians are jobless, with the highest rate of unemployment in Labuan (8.6%), followed by Sabah (5.5%) and Terengganu (4.5%).
The highest number of unemployed are in the age group of 15 to 24 (10.8%), followed by 25-34 (2.9%), 35-44 (1.1%), 45-54 (1%) and 55-64 (0.4%).