Ministry of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives, via its unit PROTEGE, has been given a bigger mandate to assist in the job placement for involving 5000 unemployed graduates this year, more than 60 percent increase from 3,000 last year.

Programme participants will be placed under the PROTEGE-Ready To Work (RTW) programme in government departments, agencies and government linked companies (GLCs) under a short term employment programme.

The Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Haji Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said this move is crucial to help the government in addressing issues concerning unemployment among graduates, especially in today’s highly challenging post Covid-19 environment.

There are currently about 232,000 jobless graduates nationwide, and with the challenging economic environment, it will be difficult for graduates, especially those fresh out of colleges, to secure employment.

“Unemployment among graduates is something that requires intervention and assistance from the government. Through programmes such as PROTEGE, we hope to give these graduates the necessary work exposure by working in these organisations.

“Hopefully by the end of their employment tenure, these graduates will acquire new skills and work experience that would significantly improve their marketability among potential employers,” he said.

Wan Junaidi also pointed out skills mismatch has also been identified as among the main contributing factor for the graduates lack of marketability among potential employers, particularly those in private sectors.

“In MEDAC, we are looking into ways on how to assist the government in addressing this skills mismatch issue.

“We are now discussing with our agency Cooperative Institute of Malaysia (IKM) on how they can help come up with more training programmes for graduates to equip them skills required by industries,” he said.