(File pix) Public looking for career opportunity at a career fair. Employers’ preference for experienced worker has made it harder for fresh graduates to get jobs.

GEORGE TOWN: Employers' preference for experienced workers has made it harder for fresh graduates to get jobs.

JobsMalaysia director Mustafa Kamal Bawaihi said employers usually prioritised experience rather than academic qualification or talent when employing workers.

“That means, they will ignore fresh graduates without experience.

“So the many fresh graduates, which make up for the majority of the 3.4 per cent unemployment rate, with excellent academic qualification and talent are not picked because they lack experience. Not because they lack the capability,” he said after opening the Malaysian Youth Career Development Club seminar in Bayan Lepas here today.

Mustaffa said the country’s slightly weak economic situation has also brought about a lot of retrenchment.

“The number of retrenched workers in the field is not significant because they are picked up quickly by other companies due to their experience.

“This means that the fresh graduates are once again ignored,” he added.

He said it was also observed from JobsMalaysia portal, that the majority of applicants were experienced workers seeking to improve their experience.

“The experienced workers want to improve their job experiences from one level to another.

“This makes it a competitive field for fresh graduates and those with attitude problem,” he noted.

Mustaffa said that was why several initiatives, including the Malaysian Youth Career Development Club were created to make employers understand that they need to give their employees a chance to raise up the rank quickly.

“This in turn opens up the lower positions for fresh graduates so they can also gain experience,” he said.

Mustaffa also clarified that the perception that fresh graduates were demanding when it comes to salary and job scope was inaccurate.

“I don’t think salary demand is a big problem for employers, but they use it as a reason to take opportunity of employing others instead of local workers.

“We see many of our local workers with a positive attitude, taking up jobs from a lower category.

“The evidence shows that there are many workers with diploma and certificates but they start from a low level,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mustaffa also said that the Human Resources Ministry was conducting a study on the cost price index.

“We are currently in the midst of survey and expect the study to be completed by mid-2018.

“After the completion of the study, the findings will be presented to the Cabinet, which will decide whether to accept it or not,” he said, when asked about the wide gap between salaries and cost of living.

Mustaffa said the currently salary scale of most fields was enough to support the needs of individuals.

However, he admitted, that the rising cost of living has affected many.

“Cost of living has also affected people in other countries such as Singapore. However, in Singapore they have their cost price index which sees to the salaries increasing together with their cost of living.

“This has not been happening in our country but we are heading towards that.” he pointed out.