Along with job creation, the National Employment Council will focus on placement, training & skills upgrading, and tackling structural issues in the labour market in the year ahead.
While there was a decline in Malaysia's unemployment rate in Q1 2023, there still remain issues to be addressed in the employment sector, Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Haji Fadillah Haji Yusof has acknowledged. These include unemployment among the youth, a mismatch between supply and demand, ensuring appropriate wage rates, underemployment, dependency on foreign labor, and increased productivity.
In addressing this, he shared, the National Employment Council (NEC) – which held its first meeting under the administration of the current Government on 22 May (Monday) – will continue to focus on three key components:
- Job creation,
- Placement, training, and skills upgrading programmes, and
- Dealing with the structural issues in the labour market.
For this year, the NEC has identified a total of 49 employment-related initiatives under Budget 2023, that will be implemented by 63 agencies and actively monitored by the Economic Stimulus Implementation & Coordination Unit Between National Agencies (LAKSANA), which acts as the NEC Secretariat.
In addition, the agencies will also begin implementing 12 of the 32 initiatives outlined under the National Job Creation Plan, as part of efforts to tackle the structural issues in the labour market.
In that vein, the NEC came to a consensus on the target of creating 119,964 jobs that will be realised through foreign and domestic direct investment for the year 2023.
In 2022, overall, a total of 600,984 job opportunities were taken up by Malaysians, surpassing the target of 600,000. In terms of job creation, a total of 144,376 new jobs were successfully realised through foreign and domestic direct investment jointly led by the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of Economy through three Investment Promotion Agencies in the year, standing at 104% higher than the set target of 138,342, the DPM noted.
In line with that, looking at 2023, he expressed confidence that the NEC's strategy for the year forward will be able to "continue the momentum in strengthening the national economy, increasing the creation of job opportunities, and reducing the unemployment rate."
Additionally, he said, "the Government takes seriously related issues such as the lack of workers in certain sectors, equal employment opportunities, social protection for workers and graduate marketability issues and will continue to strive to provide employment opportunities to Malaysians by targeting the supply of employment opportunities through initiatives brought forward by the Civil Government."
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Lead image / DPM Fadillah Yusof's Facebook