Over RM5mil set aside for 12,450 graduates in Protege programme

Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick during the launch of a Protege programme in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Over RM5mil has been set aside by the Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Ministry to aid 12,450 graduates through their Protégé programme this year.

Minister Datuk Ewon Benedick said the ministry had allocated RM30mil under the 12th Malaysian Plan (12MP) for a targeted 76,690 graduates and undergraduates.

Under the programme, several initiatives have been drafted that are in line with turning Malaysia into an entrepreneurial nation by 2030.

"The activities include enhancing their (graduates) marketability and nurturing their entrepreneurship skills.

"Entrepreneurship skills should have been taught to graduates as early as the university phase, so the ministry is conducting strategic collaborations with the Higher Education Ministry.

"We are also in the midst of renewing the memorandum of understanding with the Social Security Organisation (Sosco) for initiatives that could benefit recipients and employers who are involved in the programme," he said when officiating a Protégé programme here on Tuesday (Jan 31).

Ewon said it was vital that the ministry fosters strong cooperation with other ministries and agencies to achieve the national agenda.

He added that under the ministry's 2023 Strategic Plan, 24 strategies comprising 185 programmes or projects have been lined up, covering drafting and enacting policies, governance and monitoring, capacity development, access to funding, access to markets, technology adaptation and strengthening service delivery.

"The implementation of all these projects would benefit 543,080 entrepreneurs or would be entrepreneurs," he added.

Ewon said based on records from 2021 to 2022, a total of 16,022 graduates have benefited from the Protégé-RTW (Ready to Work) programme.

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