HR Ministry tackling skills mismatch problem, says Saravanan

KUALA LUMPUR: Skills mismatch is a critical problem especially among first-generation graduates, says Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan (pic).

“This involves those who are from families where they are the first generation to graduate as (some) have chosen fields where there are fewer job opportunities,” he said during the Oral Question and Answer session in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Aug 3).

“The ministry is trying to increase awareness among parents, especially of first-generation graduates, to ensure that they choose fields where there are opportunities,” he added.

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Saravanan said the ministry has set up reskilling and upskilling programmes to address the issue through the Human Resource Development Corp and Social Security Organisation (Socso),

He was responding to a supplementary question by Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (PN-Tumpat) on the issue of mismatch in jobs and skills.

On another matter, Saravanan said the interest of youth in taking up plantation jobs was still low although the sector offered wide opportunities.

He added that the ministry was looking at how to use Industry 4.0 to spur interest in the sector among local youth.

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He was replying to a supplementary question by Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh (Pejuang-Sri Gading) on the ministry’s efforts to train youth to work in the plantation sector.

Shahruddin had also asked about measures to reduce the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels.

Saravanan said the unemployment rate reached a record high of 4.9% in January last year and the government’s efforts had brought it down to 3.9% by May this year.

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“However, the unemployment rate has yet to return to the pre-pandemic level of 3.2%,” he added.

He said the government has introduced several initiatives to increase labour participation and unemployment rate such as Jamin Kerja and Penjana HRDF.