Govt drawing up plans to lower youth unemployment

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is drawing up a plan to reduce the unemployment rate among youths to single digit from 10.8% recorded last year, said Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

He said more emphasis would be given to increasing financial literacy and planning among youths as about 47% were faced with high credit card debt issues.

“Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes is also an important element to be incorporated into the plan.

“We need to inculcate an 'investing culture', even if it only involves a small amount of money. The ministry plans to collaborate with the Securities Commission and corporate players to encourage youths to invest in the market,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the InvestSmart Fest (ISF) 2018 here today.

According to a study conducted among 1,000 respondents, investing remained a low priority among millennials, with only 23% of the respondents investing more than 20% of their monthly income and another 40% investing less than 10%.

The study also revealed that the number of young investors increased in 2017, where active accounts of those aged between 18 and 25 years and between 26 and 35 years only accounted for 22.5% of Bursa Malaysia's total retail participation.

On the upcoming Budget 2019, Syed Saddiq said he would focus on enhancing TVET programmes which should be industrial driven in nature.

He said if the TVET programmes are correctly drawn up, it would boost youth employment and also improve the living standards of the Bottom-40 household income group.

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“For instance, the Youth and Sports Skills Training Institute recorded more than 90% employment among their graduates, higher than university graduates,” Syed Saddiq.

In May, a report by MIDF Research disclosed that youth unemployment in 2017 stood at 10.8%, three times higher than the headline (total) unemployment rate of around 3.4%.

The report also found that rising youth unemployment was mainly due to a sharp increase in graduate unemployment which accounted for 40.5% of total unemployment. — Bernama

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