Don't be picky, these are unusual times, HR Minister tells job seekers

PETALING JAYA: Job seekers should not make unemployment “part of their culture”, says Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (pic).

“In these unusual times, job-seekers are encouraged to not be choosy. Do not make unemployment part of your culture. We are facing many crises - economic, health and even a political crisis, ” he said.

Saravanan added that the unemployment rate increased to 4.7% last October after having recorded a continuous drop for four months prior.

Speaking at the launch of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) placement centre – the HRDF Placement Centre (HPC) – on Tuesday (April 6).

The centre was jointly launched by Saravanan and Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

On the placement centre, Saravanan said that the one-stop portal will provide job and income-generating opportunities to Malaysians through job matching and placements, skill training, upskilling and career counselling.

"This is not a job-searching platform - we have Myfuturejobs platform for that. This is a placement platform. To bring down unemployment, HPC is an initiative by the ministry to provide job and income-generating opportunities, ” he said.

He said that there are currently 20 employers putting placements on HPC, with 20,000 placements.

"We are targeting 50,000 but the sky's the limit," said Saravanan.

He added that he is torn between trying to meet the market's labour needs and the attitude of Malaysian job-seekers, who he states can be quite picky.

Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul said in his speech that HPC complements the efforts of the government to further bring down the unemployment rate.

"The government has five focus areas – to control Covid-19, drive economic revitalisation, strengthen competitiveness, ensure inclusivity and transform the economy, ” he said.

He added that one key priority in 2021 is to create and facilitate more jobs.

“To this end, we have established the National Employment Council (NEC), which is chaired by the Prime Minister himself, to create 500,000 jobs this year," said Tengku Zafrul.

He pointed out that both NEC and the Human Resources Ministry have managed to place 110,000 jobs as of March.

Tengku Zafrul also said that this was proven successful, as for every 100 people who lost their jobs, 36 successfully found employment as of March.

"This is compared to only nine throughout the second quarter of 2020. With all the measures in place, we are confident that this will further improve in the coming months, ” he said.

"Besides job creation, another element that is equally important is job retention using the Wage Subsidy Programme, which has saved 2.7 million jobs since its launch last April," added Tengku Zafrul.

At the same function, HRDF chief executive officer Datuk Shahul Hameed Dawood said that companies registered with HRDF can also use their HRDF levy to make the placements.

“We allow the companies who want to use their levy to make placements and train those employees using their levy, ” said Shahul.

He added that before this, the HRDF levy could only be used for training employees.

“Now, with HPS employers can now find the right fit and fill immediate vacancies, offer training and development opportunities to employees, address the talent skills gap and provide Malaysians with the opportunity to connect with an expansive list of coaches and trainers for career counselling and advice," said Shahul Hameed.

The HPC can be accessed via the website

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