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Lim Guan Eng greeting people during the opening of McDonald's Drive-Thru in Bagan Ajam. NSTP/MIKAIL ONG
Lim Guan Eng greeting people during the opening of McDonald's Drive-Thru in Bagan Ajam. NSTP/MIKAIL ONG

BUTTERWORTH: The [email protected] or #MalaysiaKerja initiative, to be spearheaded by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), will open for registration in April.

"It is an initiative where the government wants to create employment opportunities for those who have been out of jobs for a long time.

"This programme will begin to open for registration in April," Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng announced today when met at the opening of the new McDonald's Drive-Thru in Bagan Ajam here.

The [email protected] programme is a stimulus package with an allocation of RM6.5 billion for the next five years to create up to 350,000 jobs. It was unveiled at the tabling of the 2020 Budget last October.

The four components of the programme include the [email protected], which provides employment for fresh graduates; [email protected], which offers technical, vocational education and training for youths; [email protected], which attracts talent among qualified women; and [email protected], which promotes dangerous, dirty and difficult jobs to Malaysians.

Elaborating, Lim said a wage incentive of RM500 per month would be given to employees, while employers would be given a hiring incentive of RM300 per month for each new hire.

"We want to encourage employers to hire locals," he added.

Lim said the 350,000 jobs to be created under the programme were over and above the one million jobs to be created by the private sector.

"Don't be mistaken that we will only create 350,000 jobs. This is only for the [email protected] programme.

"It will be an addition to the one million jobs to be created by the private sector," he said.

In the 2020 Budget, Lim had announced the [email protected] initiative to provide better job opportunities for youth and women. One of the initiatives was to reduce dependency on low-skilled foreign workers.

Under the [email protected], graduates who secure work will receive a wage incentive of RM500 per month for two years, while employers receive a hiring incentive up to RM300 per month for each new hire, for two years.

For [email protected] initiative, the wage incentive for returning women workers is RM500 per month for two years, and a corresponding hiring incentive for employers up to RM300 per month for two years. On top of this, the current income tax exemption for women who return to work after a career break would also be extended for another four years until 2023.

Under [email protected], the wage incentive for Malaysians who are hired to replace foreign workers is at either RM350 or RM500 per month, depending on the sectors, for two years, and corresponding hiring incentive for employers is up to RM250 per month for two years.

[email protected] on the other hand, focuses on encouraging more youths to enter technical, vocational education and training (TVET) courses, in the form of additional RM100 per month on existing allowance for trainees on apprenticeships.

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