986 : Excerpt from BERNAMA on the GEMS initiative

PUTRAJAYA, March 13 (Bernama) — The Graduate Employability Management Scheme (GEMS) implemented by government-linked companies (GLCs) will offer training opportunities to 12,000 unemployed graduates for a two-year period.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said 5,000 unemployed graduates would be taken in for the first year and they would undergo a two-and-a-month training and later emplaced in the GLCs participating in the scheme for six months.

“I believe they will become more employable graduates. This was proven through the ‘Green’ programme, now known as GEMS, where the success factor for employability was 97 per cent,” he said when launching the GEMS programme at the Finance Ministry, here today.

Also present were Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Khazanah Nasional Berhad managing director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar.

GEMS is an evolution from the Graduate Employability Ehancement Programme (GREEN) which had been implemented by Khazanah since 2006.

Najib said the unemployment rate in the country was expected to rise to 4.5 per cent this year compared with 3.7 per cent last year and this did not include about 100,000 workers who were forced to work without ‘overtime’ claims and earning only the basic pay.

He said a high unemployment rate would create many problems to the country not only in terms of the economy, whereby the people’s qualifications and skills could not be utilised productively to generate economic growth, but would also cause social and possibly political problems.

Najib said based on estimates, about 60,000 graduates might find it difficult to seek employment at all times and this was a substantial figure.

As such, the government was focusing on the aspects of unemployment in the first and second stimulus packages, that is, how to retain those who were already working and to provide additional job opportunities.

“It is hoped that these measures would be able to cushion off the impact of the global economic recession on the country.

“I also hope that all the GLCs will give serious attention to this programme because the GLCs were created to meet the national agenda and play a role in fulfilling the country’s social objective target so that the people can continue to live in prosperity,” he added.

Read it from Bernama 

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