PETALING JAYA: Wage incentives announced in Budget 2020 to encourage hiring of unemployed graduates and local workers have been hailed by Malaysians.
Under the Malaysians@Work initiative, graduates who secure a job after having been unemployed for more than a year will receive RM500 per month from the government for a duration of two years.
Employers will also receive a hiring incentive up to RM300 per month for each new hire over two years.
Malaysian Youth Council president Jufitri Joha welcomed the government's initiative to create more jobs for youths.
"This is a very good initiative and encourages employers to hire more graduates," he said on Friday (Oct 11).
The Malaysia National Federation of Youth Work secretary-general Mohamad Rizan Hassan said the initiative was "new and brave", considering the economic situation in the country.
However, he asked if it would be applicable only to university graduates or would include those who were technical and vocational graduates.
"What is most important is for youths to maintain and keep their jobs.
"We do not want them to enjoy these incentives but do not keep their jobs once they have obtained these benefits," he said.
The government will also be offering monthly wage incentives for locals hired to replace foreign workers in abid to reduce the country's dependency on low-skilled foreign labour.
Under the measure announced in Budget 2020, locals will receive an incentive of RM350 or RM500 depending on sector for two years, and their employers will receive an incentive of RM250 a month during the same time period.
Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs director of research Laurence Todd opined that the wage incentive to replace foreign workers with locals would likely not be effective.
“I suspect it won’t be too effective in reducing the number of foreign workers, as many foreign workers are employed in jobs which Malaysians are not competing for.
“I do not think this incentive will fundamentally change that, but it might have an impact," he said.
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