KUALA LUMPUR: It's normal that a section of Malaysia's young should be jobless, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"Unemployment rate among youth between 15 and 24 years old is a normal phenomenon faced by developing and developed nations.
"This group is said to be in the transition process between a learning environment and the realities of the employment market," he said when answering a question raised by Ma'mun Sulaiman (PH-Kalabakan) during Minister's Question Time in Parliament on Thursday (July 11).
Based on a labour force report by the Statistics Department, he said the unemployment rate for 2018 stood at 3.3%, while unemployment among youths was 10.9% during the same period.
Despite this, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was deemed as having full employment.
He said this was based on the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) definition that a nation has full employment if its unemployment rate is below 4%.
Nevertheless, Dr Mahathir added the government had implemented several initiatives to help improve opportunities for youth employment.
Among them, he said, was organising job fairs and job placement programmes, including setting up of the Job Malaysia portal offering advice on employment.
"Between January and March this year, a total of 3,890 jobseekers found job placements," he said.
He added that some 4,000 graduates would be targeted under the Graduate Enhancement Programme for Employment to find matching jobs for them.
He added that some 76,000 university and skills training graduates had, so far, participated under the Structured Internship Programme to equip them with job skills.
Dr Mahathir advised unemployed youths to develop their skills and have the right attitude sought by employers.