Three women join National Employment Council

New appointees: (From left) Azlin, Sharifah Sofianny and Chia.

PETALING JAYA: Three women have been appointed to the National Employment Council (NEC), representing the financial, entrepreneurship and innovation sectors, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Prime Minister said this was to make the composition of the body more inclusive.

Muhyiddin said he had reminded ministries and government agencies to give more attention and priority to matters related to employment initiatives.

“I would like to emphasise that NEC is a KPI-driven initiative. There should be a sense of urgency on this matter and no delays as our main focus this year is to provide employment opportunities and generate income to the people, ” he said in a statement on Facebook yesterday.

The three new members are: Association of Bumiputra Women in Business and Professions (Peniagawati) president Datuk Azlin Ahmad Shaharbi, independent director to the board of Maybank Investment Bank Bhd Datuk Seri Sharifah Sofianny Syed Hussain and local startup GoGet co-founder Francesca Chia.

The other council members are International Trade and Industry Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Senior Education Minister Dr Radzi Jidin and Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, as well as Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, who is also the alternate chairman of the NEC.

The announcement on the appointments was made after the Prime Minister virtually chaired the third NEC meeting yesterday.

Muhyiddin said he was given a detailed explanation on the job retention and creation initiatives under the national economic recovery plan during the meeting.

“As of April, a total of 150,597 job seekers had successfully found working opportunities via 12 programmes implemented by the government.

“The success has exceeded the cumulative projection as of April, with the government targeting to generate a total of 500,000 new jobs by 2021.”

He said the effort to increase investment in the country had successfully created 33,907 new jobs and 76% of the total are in the skilled and semi-skilled categories.

This is part of the 160,000 new job target as a result of investment commitments for this year, he explained.

The meeting also touched on several other issues, including challenges faced within the informal employment sector.

Based on 6,202 engagement sessions conducted, the number of self-employed workers, including gig workers who received protection from the Social Security Organisation (Socso), have increased from 71,000 in 2019 to 81,000 individuals in 2020 and most recently, 142,000 people this year.

“Grab Malaysia also presented the strategies to empower the domestic economy through the process of digitalisation.

“Four pilot projects that were proposed are set to provide 35,000 new opportunities for e-hailing drivers, disabled groups, businesses at public markets and the food and beverage sectors, ” he said.

The meeting, Muhyiddin said, was also told about the challenges faced by the disabled groups and the vulnerable in getting access to income-making opportunities.

“In this regard, the NEC has tasked the Transport Ministry, the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and the local authorities with studying measures including legal provisions to allow the initiative to be carried out immediately, ” he added.

The meeting also discussed the UP Career Programme, which was launched on April 12 for the urban poor and hardcore poor.

It has helped 489 applicants get jobs.

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