Future uncertain for new grads
Published on: Sunday, November 29, 2020
By: Dina Zulaikha
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IS BUDGET 2021 inclusive towards every income group and individuals especially new graduates? Recently, Budget 2021 was announced by Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz. The total amount of the stimulus packages allocated is RM322.5 billion. 

At the end of the year 2019, we were shocked by the new virus called Covid-19 that causes a sudden pandemic to the whole world. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the economy of Malaysia. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) stressed that the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis will be felt for decades. 

The pandemic has not only affected the economy sector but also education sector. Graduates who have just recently graduated from IPTA and IPTS will experience a hard time to find a job. 

The  government needs to prioritise the future of graduates because graduates are national assets. According to DOSM, there is a slight drop in September 2020 unemployment rate to 4.6 percent and about 737,500 unemployed people. 

There is an estimation of 300,000 graduates that will complete their education, and 25 percent (75,000) of them will be struggled to find a job and will be unemployed for six months due to the current pandemic.  The government has allocated to the tune of RM1 billion for the second strategy in Budget 2021 which is Reskilling and Upskilling.

About RM150 million is assigned to KPT-PACE and it is expected for 50,000 new graduates to receive the vouchers worth RM3,000 to pursue a professional certification course in private and public universities. 

The government also introduces an initiative called MySTEP (Short-Term Employment Programme) about RM700 million is allocated for this programme. This initiative will be offering 50,000 job opportunities starting in January 2021.

Government-Linked Companies is going to provide to the tune of 15,000 job opportunities that  prioritise  technical  and  financial  fields  and  new  graduates  to  undergo  apprenticeship programme.  

The government prepares an initiative of RM1,000 per month for up to 3 months to be provided to the private employers for each new graduate who participates in the apprenticeship programme. The purpose of this programme is to give employment exposure to fresh graduates. 

The employers will receive a RM4,000 grant for providing training programs for the apprentices. The programme is expected to benefit up to 50 thousand new graduates with an allocation of RM250 million.

In 2018, there are more than half a million unemployed persons, which is about 140,000 of them are graduates. The government introduced an initiative called [email protected] in Budget 2020 that aimed to create better employment opportunities, especially to youths. 

The government offered the unemployed graduates who have received a job, will get wage incentive RM500 per month for duration of two years. Budget 2020 did not discuss a lot about new graduates. 

In Budget 2021 the government has allocated quite amount for new graduates because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The spread of the novel corona virus has affected and disrupted the readiness of graduates to leave school. 

Some of the graduates have already applied for their dream job and expecting a good news from the employer, while some have already been approved.

But will new graduates still survive during this hard time? Finding a job itself is hard, this pandemic is making it harder for graduates to get a decent job. 

At this point, new graduates need to consider more professional training and education. Beefing up new skills such as soft skills and networking skills are also important. 

Although everything is through on the line now, new graduates still can attend networking organisation in their industry to expand their network. They also need to prepare for slower than normal recruiting and on-boarding.   

Being a picky job hunter is not suitable in this current situation, we need to grab any chances that come across us because chances will never come twice. Lastly, new graduates need to be proud of themselves for facing the struggles that many people will never face.

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