KUALA LUMPUR: A total of 150,597 job seekers have succeeded in obtaining employment through 12 programmes implemented as at April 23, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Prime Minister said the success exceeded the cumulative projection as at April 2021 and the government is targeting to create 500,000 job opportunities for this year.

“The government’s efforts in raising investments in the country have succeeded in creating 33,907 new jobs and 76 percent of them are in the skilled and semi-skilled categories.

“This is a part of the target of 160,000 new jobs from the commitment of investments for 2021,” he said in a Facebook post today.

In the message, Muhyiddin announced today he chaired the third meeting of the National Employment Council (NEC) held via video conferencing.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister was informed of the details of the Employment Retention and Generation initiatives under the Economic Recovery Plan.

“The meeting was also told of the issues and challenges of employment in the informal sector.

“From the findings of 6,202 engagement programmes conducted, the number of self -employed (OBS) including Gig workers who received social protection from Socso increased from 71,000 in 2019 to 81,000 in 2020 and the latest shows 142,000 (2021),” he said

Muhyiddin said Grab Malaysia has tabled a strategy to empower the domestic economy through digitalisation with four pilot programmes proposed capable of providing more than 35,000 opportunities to generate income in e-hailing for persons with disabilities (PwD), wet market traders as well as the food and beverage (F&B) industry.

Elaborating further, he said in recognition of the difficulties of PwDs and vulnerable groups in obtaining access to income generating opportunities, NEC has asked the Transport Ministry, Women, Family and Community Development Ministry as well as local authorities to study the mechanism including legal provisions to ensure the initiatives are carried out soon.

“The meeting also announced that the UP Career Programme launched on April 12 especially for the urban poor and hardcore poor has succeeded in assisting 489 applicants in obtaining employment immediately.

In this regard, the council agreed to expand the programme more aggressively with a wider target to assist the socio-economy of the group to help them get out of poverty,” he said.

The Prime Minister also said to boost the composition NEC members to be more inclusive, three more permanent members representing the finance, entrepreneurship and innovation sectors were appointed, namely member of Maybank Investment Bank Bhd board of director Datuk Seri Sharifah Sofianny Syed Hussain; Persatuan Wanita Bumiputra Dalam Perniagaan Profesion Malaysia (Peniagawati) president Datuk Azlin Ahmad Shaharbi and GoGet co-founder, Francesca Chia.

He also reminded that the government ministries and agencies would continue to give attention as well as priority to matters on employment initiatives.

“I would like to emphasise that NEC is a KPI driven initiative. There should be a sense of urgency on this matter and there should be no delays as our primary focus this year is to provide employment opportunities and generate income for the people,” he said. — Bernama