1M'sia Training Scheme benefits jobless youths, says Nor Mohamed
KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia Training Scheme, introduced by the government to reduce unemployment rate among youths, has borne fruition and has contributed to rapid economic growth, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop.
He said it was now easier for youths to get jobs than the youths in Europe, particularly in countries facing economic crisis like Greece, Italy and Spain, where the unemployment rate was high.
The training scheme, launched on June 1, 2011, has succeeded in providing training to part of the 20,000 university graduates and from other tertiary learning institutions who were unable to get jobs after graduating.
"Every year, we have 90,000 students graduating from universities and other institutions of higher learning. We see 70,000 of the 90,000 students face no problems to find jobs, but the remaining 20,000 face difficulties getting a job," he told Bernama after breaking fast with the Malaysian National News Agency staff at Wisma Bernama last night.
Of the 20,000 jobless graduates, some are enrolled into the scheme for various skills training, among them are English proficiency courses, and communication skills for several months before they are absorbed into their preferred fields.
"Under the first phase, we have enrolled 8,612 graduates, and 4,000 under the second phase. We provide training for about a year and after that all of them will get jobs.
"With this training scheme in place, youths in Malaysia are better off than their european peers who have to contend with the high unemployment rate (in their countries).
"There 50 per cent of youths, aged between 20 and 30, who are out looking for jobs, cannot find a job. The uemployment rate in our country is only 2.9 per cent, a percentage that is regarded as there is no unemployment," he added.
Bernama Chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Sulaiman, General Manager Datuk Hasnul Hassan, Editor-in-Chief Datuk Yong Soo Heong and Deputy Editor-in-Chief in-charge of Bernama Economic Service Datuk Zakaria Abdul Wahab accompanied Nor Mohamed on his visit to various units of Bernama's services.
Nor Mohamed spent about an hour visiting the general news service newsroom, Bernama Economic Service newsroom, Bernama TV newsroom and studio and Radio 24 newsroom before breaking fast and performing Maghrib prayers.
Besides reducing unemployment, the government also ensures that people from all strata of society receive decent education and enjoy quality life.
This is in line with government's efforts to transform Malaysia into an advanced nation by 2020.
Nor Mohamed said building infrastructures in towns and in rural areas and offering scholarships to poor students are among the government's commitment to the people.
"Currently, the government is giving attention not to ensure a high growth rate, this will indeed happen, but it wants to ensure that people at every level of society enjoy a higher quality of life to become a developed race and individuals living in a developed nation in the blessed year 2020," he said.
Throughout the 55 years of independence, the government has made the transformation from a country in abject poverty and devoid of infrastructure into a modern and an industrial nation today.
The minister cited as an example the 75 per cent poverty rate in 1957 when the country had just attained independence.
The poverty rate has sharply dwindled to a meagre 3.8 per cent now, he said.
Apart from that, the people are also free to choose the career of their choice whilst the people in poor countries are suffering in poverty, said Nor Mohamed, who is also in-charge of the Economic Planning Unit in the Prime minister's department.
"This is the socio-economic marvel that has happened in our country as a result of a visionary leadership, an administration which right from the start was genuinely sincere in propelling this blessed nation to greater heights.
"We have now created a landscape in the country where the people of all races have progressed. When the country has developed, when the people have attained middle-class status, our children and our grandchildren can have a choice," he said.
Nor Mohamed said Malaysians should be grateful and thankful, more so in the Ramadan Holy month, for being able to fast and break fast in a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere than in some other countries.
"The fasting month is a month for self-reflection and gratitude. If we look at the goings-on in the world today, countries, which were at one time our colonial masters, are now facing all sorts of challenges, trials and tribulations.
"In Malaysia, we break fast and also invite non-Muslims to join us, thus fostering closer goodwill among the various races.
"This uniqueness in Malaysia cannot be possibly seen in other countries. This is an advantage and a blessing to our beloved nation," he added. -- BERNAMA