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Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said about 98 per cent or 980,000 (SMEs) in the country are categorised in the group, and the majority had limited financial resources. - NSTP/KHAIRUL AZHAR AHMAD
Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said about 98 per cent or 980,000 (SMEs) in the country are categorised in the group, and the majority had limited financial resources. - NSTP/KHAIRUL AZHAR AHMAD

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged to provide more financial assistance and incentives to small and medium-sized industries (SMEs), to help them change the old ways of doing things and embrace automation and robotics technology instead.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said about 98 per cent or 980,000 (SMEs) in the country are categorised in the group, and the majority had limited financial resources.

In this regard, he said, it is important assistance is provided to help them expand the use of automation and robotics technology, to increase productivity and accelerate business growth.

"At the same time, employers need to provide workers with skills relevant to the current job market needs," he said when contacted.

Shamsuddin said the government should also look into the issue of graduate unemployment and those who are hired not based on qualifications. He added that learning institutions should perform their social duty by providing short-term certified courses to complement the current skills of graduates to meet industry needs.

“Incentives such as tax relief for employers who want to employ new graduates are also necessary, as these can attract more employers to come forward and do likewise,” he added.

Meanwhile, lecturer at Faculty of Education, Universiti Putra Malaysia Dr Mohd Mursyid Arshad hopes the government and stakeholders would provide a platform for digital employment for graduates to explore.

He said digital jobs are now available through social media, which have become a new, lucrative branch of business.

"University graduates make up the highest youth unemployment. Not that they are unskilled or incompetent, but there are just too few job opportunities and too much competition.

"That is why a digital-based job platform is important for graduates to explore, without having to get a nine-to-five-job," he said, stressing that proficiency in Mandarin among graduates should be emphasised and strengthened.

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