The government has to provide financial assistance and incentives to operators of small and medium enterprises (SME) to help them change their method of operation so that automation and robotics technology can be introduced. Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said about 98 per cent or 980,000 SME operators in the country were in the deserving group and had limited financial resources.

In this regard, he said, it was important that assistance was given to help them expand their use of automation and robotics technology as it could increase productivity and accelerate their business growth. “At the same time, employers need to provide workers with skills to ensure their abilities and know-how were relevant to the current job market needs,” he told Bernama.

Datuk Shamsuddin said the problem of new graduates, who are unemployed and who do not have academic qualifications, should be addressed by institutions of higher learning by carrying out social responsibility programmes and providing short-term certification courses to equip the graduates with relevant skills.

Incentives such as tax relief to employers who have the desire to hire these new graduates were also necessary as it can attract more employers to offer job opportunities, he said.
Meanwhile, Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Faculty of Education lecturer Dr Mohd Mursyid Arshad expressed hope for the government and stakeholders to provide a digital employment-related platform for graduates to explore and create employment opportunities in the field. He said digital work through social media such as Facebook has become a new branch of business that promises an income. “University graduates make up the largest group of unemployed youths, not because they are inadequately skilled or incompetent but because they have limited job opportunities and too much competition.
“That is why it is recommended that more stakeholders provide a digital-based platform for graduates to explore the field without having to look for paid work alone,” he said, stressing that the aspect of mastering Mandarin, the business language, should be strengthened.

Meanwhile, National Council of Professors president Dr Raduan Che Rose said job opportunities would be further enhanced if the country’s continued to grow with more domestic and foreign investments.
For that, he said the government should find a way to attract investors by creating new and exciting programmes in the country’s economic structure.

“As such, the government needs to have a fresh dose of stimulants and incentives that can strengthen and encourage investors so that more job opportunities will be created in line with economic growth,” he said.

– Bernama

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