Higher starting salaries for graduates

Abundant opportunity: Mustapa (centre) on a tour of the young ginger nursery in Felda Raja Alias 1. — Bernama

JEMPOL: The starting salaries for graduates entering the job market are expected to be higher by the next three or four months with the country’s economy seen recovering, says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

He said the government was aware that the salaries received by new graduates last year were low and attributed the situation to the Covid-19 pandemic, which adversely affected the economic growth in the country, and globally.

“Last year, we experienced the worst economic recession in history, so job opportunities were low and, of course, the graduates were willing to receive lower salaries.

“We want Malaysians to enjoy higher wage and salaries it is a problem when the starting salaries of graduates have not increased for 10 to 20 years, ” he told reporters after visiting the young ginger planting project at Felda Raja Alias ​​1 here yesterday.

He said it had been the government’s aspiration to create more quality job opportunities so that the newly-employed graduates could enjoy higher salaries

Two days ago, a local portal reported Malaysia’s chief statistician Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin as saying that a majority of graduates entering the job market last year received a monthly salary of between RM1,001 and RM1,500, compared to the average RM2,001 to RM2,500 recorded in 2019.

Mohd Uzir said the number of graduates who entered the employment market also dropped last year, as well as the labour force participation rate among young graduates.

Meanwhile, Mustapa said RM10mil had been allocated for the young ginger farming project in the Felda Raja Alias ​​region, from the RM100mil allocated by the government to the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) through the Settlers Development Programme (PPP) this year.

The project, carried out with the cooperation of Agrobank, aims to increase the income of settlers and reduce the country’s dependence on imports of young ginger, including from China.

“We import young ginger worth RM200mil a year from foreign countries... so in line with the government’s aim to reduce import and increase food security, we encourage farmers to plant young ginger because of its market potential, ” he said.

He said a total of 132 projects had so far been approved by Felda through PPP, with 63 projects undertaken by individuals, and another 69 by cooperatives. — Bernama

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