PUTRAJAYA, June 5 -- The government will allocate RM9 billion to tackle the rising rate of unemployment and ensure job sustainability in the country during the national recovery period post COVID-19.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the allocation which will be channeled through various initiatives, will benefit three million workforce in the country.
“I know there are many who are worried about the risk of losing jobs and their source of income after many sectors and economic activities were affected by the Movement Control Order.
“I understand that the economy will take time to recover and there are people who need help throughout the economic recovery (period),” he said when he unveiled the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA) which was broadcast live on radio and television here today.
Muhyiddin said this includes extending the Wage Subsidy programme introduced in the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (PRIHATIN) and PRIHATIN Additional packages with an addition of RM5 billion.
He said since it was introduced, the three-month programme has been successful in saving more than 2.2 million jobs.
“To assist companies in the economic recovery period, the government will extend the wage subsidy to three more months. Since the economy has been opened up in stages, the subsidy has been set at RM600 a month for every worker, up to a maximum of 200 workers for each company.
“For workers in the tourism sector and other sectors listed in the economic activities which are prohibited and told to take no-pay leave, the employers can apply for the wage subsidy on condition the workers receive the subsidy payments directly,” he said.
According to the Prime Minister, according to the Malaysian Statistics Department on May 14, the rate of unemployment in the country is expected to increase to 5.5 per cent or more than 860,000 jobless persons this year.
Muhyiddin said besides extending the wage subsidy, the government will also allocate RM1.5 billion for the Employee Intake Incentive Programme which is expected to benefit more than 300,000 job seekers.
He added that under this programme, employers will be given financial aid through two incentives to provide jobs to the unemployed and youths.
”The first is to hire people under the age of 40 years at RM800 a month for every employee, while the second is incentives for employing people above the age of 40 years and the disabled, at RM1,000 a month,” he said.
The Prime Minister said these incentives will be given for six months.
Meanwhile, to assist and encourage the unemployed improve their skills, the government will allow those who have lost their jobs to claim a training allowance of up to RM4,000 even if they are not contributors to the Employment Insurance Scheme.
Muhyiddin added that the government will also provide incentives to employers who provide apprenticeships to school leavers and graduates at a rate of RM600 a month, including efforts to increase their marketability.
In addition, he said, the government will allocate RM2 billion for skills development programs for the unemployed and youth. This is expected to benefit more than 200,000 people.
“For youths, this includes training and placement programmes, implementation of short courses at selected institutions and training subsidies.
“For the unemployed, the government will also implement upskilling programmes in key industries such as electrical and electronics, information technology and communications, and encourage continuation of learning through short courses and training subsidies,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the government will set up the National Employment Special Committee which will be jointly chaired by the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Human Resource, with representatives from the relevant private and public sectors.
Malaysia National News Agency
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