Umno Youth to hold mass job fair ahead of GE14

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin shakes hands before chairing the Umno Youth executive council meeting in Kuala Lumpur March 8, 2018. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Umno Youth will hold a large-scale job fair in April amid heightened concerns over growing unemployment among graduates ahead of the 14th general election.

Khairy Jamaluddin, the wing’s chief, made the announcement earlier today after chairing its executive council meeting, which mostly touched on the party’s preparation for the polls.

“This will provide an opportunity for the younger generation and it is yet another initiative by Umno Youth,” Khairy, who is also the youth and sports minister, told reporters at the party’s headquarters here.

The youth unemployment rate in the country was estimated to have reached close to 12 per cent in 2016, more than three times higher than the national unemployment rate of 3.1 per cent, according to a report by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Pundits predict graduate unemployment will be a key issue in GE14, which is expected to be called within the next 90 days.

Critics claimed the problem underscores longstanding structural weaknesses, echoing views expressed by some economists that the government is just not creating enough high-skilled jobs.

The result is an oversupply of graduates in a very limited high-paying job market.

BN Youth, under Khairy’s leadership, said it is very much aware of this, and has consistently held programmes aimed at boosting hiring. Past initiatives have included career counselling, training and even direct hiring.

For this year’s fair, Khairy said Umno Youth is currently in the midst of gathering employers to participate in the event.

“Right now we are still talking and gathering as many employers,” the minister said.

The fair will be held on April 13 and 14 at the Putra World Trade Centre here.