MEF: Fresh graduates will have tough time finding jobs

PETALING JAYA (April 28): As the current workforce struggles to secure their jobs, fresh graduates will find it tough getting employed, said Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan.

“Businesses are badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic and prolonged Movement Control Order (MCO). It is estimated that around one million people might lose their jobs,” he said during a webinar organised by the New Entrepreneurs Foundation today.

According to Shamsuddin, there are around half a million new entrants into the job market annually hence if the current situation persists, it will be challenging for them to find a job.

He urged the government to gradually allow more businesses to start operations at one third of their capacity.

“By allowing the businesses to start operations on a smaller scale with strict SOPs on safety and health, it could help to keep businesses running and employees can continue to have their jobs,” he said.

Although the government has allowed selected industries and some companies to resume operations with permits from the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti), Shamsuddin opined that the process of gaining approval is quite a frustrating experience.

The approval will take at least five days and many small or micro business owners might have difficulties submitting the application, he noted.

Instead of going through the application process, he proposed that businesses be allowed to resume business gradually and with strict adherence to the SOPs to ensure workers' safety.

“Employers should follow the SOPs to ensure the safety of their employees in the workplace, this includes thermal screening, sanitisation of the workplace as well as promoting social distancing, ” he added. 

The prolonged MCO has put small businesses in Malaysia in a dire situation as the majority of these companies could only survive one and half months, said Shamsuddin.

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