PM, your 1.8 million jobs (created) rang hollow.
1. When the PM Najib Razak proudly announced that 1.8 millions jobs (22 March, Bernama) were created from 2010 to 2016 under the National Transformation Programme, he seems oblivious of the actual perennial problem of youth unemployment.
2. Najib categorical announcement that ‘no Malaysian gets left behind’ rings hollow when last week Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Annual Report of 2016 revealed that youth unemployment reached 10.7% in 2015, more than three times (3x) higher than the country’s unemployment rate of 3.1% (which arguably is a relatively good number).
3. Youth unemployment rate has outpaced the rest of the population by about 6 times higher (1.2 percentage point as compared to 0.2 percentage points). The data revealed that unemployment rate was recorded at 42% among 20-24 years in 2015 followed by aged group between 25-29 years at 20.4% and 15-19 years at 19%. It also specifically pointed out that unemployment is especially pronounced amongst graduates. The unemployment rate with tertiary education is at 15.3%.
4. So what is happening Mr Prime Minister. Stop, pulling wools over the rakyat eyes, with all your ‘magical numbers’ as you’re quite evidently ill-informed.
5. According to the report, youth represent more than half (61%) of the total unemployed workers, while only making a third of the labour force currently.
6. This is indeed alarming and unsettling to say of the least. Its direct impact on rise of social problems, namely involvement in drug and criminal activities would be the visible consequences. The overall well-being of society would have have to be secured through increasing social and welfare programmes as to assist this critical group.
7. As is always explained, youth unemployment is a multi-factorial problem. Rationale of a uneven growth between job creation and job-seekers, a mismatch of sort in skillsets between demand and supply-side has been unending but not much has been addressed appaently.
8. Besides, policy framework must go beyond skills and training development but also to put in place effective functioning feedback mechanism between the industry and educational institutions.
9. Suggestion for an intensive tri-partite involvement of policymakers, educationists and private sectors employers be instituted has time and again be repeated, but youth unemployment and underemployment is a still pernicious and a perennial problem. Sorry PM, you failed!
Dr Dzullefly Ahmad
Parti Amanah Negara
28 March 2017.