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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Malaysian graduates struggle to get good jobs, says Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 — Although overall Malaysian unemployment has shrunk, the number of jobless university graduates continues to rise due to low pay and keen competition for vacancies, the Singapore Straits Times reported today.

According to government statistics, 71,000 people with diplomas or degrees remain on the job hunt, almost 20 per cent of total unemployed labour of 388,000.

The Straits Times found the government’s JobsMalaysia portal’s listed vacancies to be mostly in manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors, showing that graduate-level jobs are few and far between.

Deputy Minister of Human Resources Datuk Maznah Mazlan recently told Parliament 2,700 people have been placed in state agencies, and given training to be become entrepreneurs.

But the Straist Times wrote that “it appears that the predicament many graduates find themselves in could
stem from their own expectations.”

The report cited a recent survey by top online recruitment firm Jobstreet.com, which found that most employers said that fresh graduates had “unrealistic expectations” of salaries.

This concurs with a 2008 government study which said jobless graduates were overly focused on pay and perks and rejected jobs they considered dirty, difficult or dangerous.

“While previous surveys named poor English as the main cause of unemployment, bad attitude has now topped the list,” Straits Time quoted chief operating officer Suresh Thiru as saying.

However, the Straits Times found that jobseekers said there were just not enough jobs and salaries for those living in Kuala Lumpur were too low to cope with the cost of living.

The London-based Economist Intelligence Unit said in a recent study that the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur has risen by nearly 25 per cent over the last two years, making it the 86th most expensive city in the world.

“Others point to rising competition among their peers. Malaysia now has 20 public and 26 private universities, which send more than 180,000 graduates into the workforce each year. That is not counting the 120,000 also emerging from some 1,000 skills training institutes,” the Straits Times wrote.

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