Putrajaya sets aside RM3.5b in hiring, training incentives for employers, unemployed

R. Loheswar
People watch a live telecast of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's speech June 5, 2020. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — The federal government announced today it is allocating RM1.5 billion under its Staff Hiring Incentive Program to encourage employers to hire staff during the downturn caused by Covid-19.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said another RM2 billion will be allocated for training and upskilling of youths and the unemployed to help them stay relevant as the country recovers from the pandemic.

Muhyiddin said with this incentive scheme, the government wishes to encourage employers to hire, with some 300,000 people estimated to benefit from this program.

“Financial incentives will be given for those who hire the unemployed and youths. For those under 40, they will get RM800 per month per staff and the second incentive for those above 40 and the handicapped, they will get RM1,000 per month.

“These incentives will be given for six months,” said Muhyiddin during his special address today.

“To help the unemployed increase their skills, an allowance of up to RM400 can be claimed from Socso for those who have lost their jobs, even if they are not insured by the Workers Insurance Scheme,” he added, referring to the Social Security Organisation.

A recent survey by recruitment company JobStreet revealed up to 20 per cent of respondents have been retrenched amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey, conducted in May and involving 5,000 participants, indicated that one in five Malaysians who were previously working have lost their jobs due to Covid-19.

It also revealed that more than two million Malaysians are expected to end up unemployed.

To tackle this, the government is also offering employers RM600 a month to encourage them to hire interns and fresh graduates.

“For youths, these include ‘place and train’ programs or sending them for short-term courses at selected learning institutions.

“As for the unemployed, the government will implement upskilling courses, particularly in the electrical and electronics sector as well as the telecommunications sector,” added Muhyiddin.

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