Budget 2022: Govt aims to create 600,000 new jobs

PETALING JAYA: Given the high number of people currently unemployed, 600,000 new job opportunities will be created under a “job guarantee” initiative in Budget 2022, says Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.

Known as “Jamin Kerja Keluarga Malaysia” or “JaminKerja” (job guarantee), the initiative has a RM4.8bil allocation under Budget 2022.

”As you all know, Covid-19 has had a significant effect on jobs and sources of income, and unemployment rose to 5.3% in May last year.

“The figure has since dropped to 4.6% in August, (but) nearly 750,000 of our people must be assisted.

“Therefore, taking into account the job guarantee concept, the government will guarantee 600,000 job opportunities with an allocation of RM4.8bil,” he said when tabling Budget 2022 in Parliament on Friday (Oct 29).

Tengku Zafrul said the initiative will also be adopted by Socso which aims to provide 300,000 job opportunities with an allocation of RM2bil.

Under this initiative, employers will benefit from hiring jobless Malaysians, where the government will subsidise 20% of workers' salaries for the first six months and another 30% for the following six months, subjected to jobs that offer remuneration of RM1,500 and above.

To encourage employers to hire targeted groups such as the disabled, Orang Asli and former prisoners, the government will subsidise 30% of those workers’ salary for the first six months, and 40% in the following six months, subjected to jobs with salary of RM1,200 and above.

“To encourage women to return to the workforce, this initiative is also extended to employers who hire women who have been jobless for more than 365 days, single mothers and housewives,” Tengku Zafrul added.

He also said the Malaysia Short Term Employment Programme (MyStep) will be continued and will offer 80,000 contract job opportunities, comprising 50,000 in the public sector and 30,000 in government-linked companies (GLCs), from next January.

To encourage Malaysians to upgrade their skills, Zafrul said tax exemptions will be increased from RM1,000 to RM2,000 for expenditure in relation to upskilling courses or self-improvement programmes until 2023.

“Aside from that, those taking courses from accredited professional bodies will be eligible for tax exemptions of up to RM7,000 in course fees.

“These are for fields such as accounting, finances, the environment, and administration.”

Tengku Zafrul said it was hoped the job guarantee initiative would be able to reduce the national unemployment rate to 4%.

Budget 2022 has a total allocation of RM332.1bil, the largest ever for the country.

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