BUKIT MERTAJAM, Oct 16  — The government is expecting the unemployment rate to drop to 4.5 per cent by December following the implementation of Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) under the National Economic Recovery Plan (PENJANA).

Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the unemployment rate in the country was 5.3 per cent in May.

“However, the unemployment rate has dropped to 4.7 per cent in September although the country is currently facing economic crisis and COVID-19 pandemic.

“So, with assistance such as the PENJANA HRDF, the ministry is able to produce creative, productive and competitive human capital and make projections that the unemployment rate will decrease to 4.5 per cent by December,” he said when launching virtually the PENJANA HRDF Initiative programme here today.

Meanwhile, the ministry has introduced a new programme namely the Employment Retention Programme (ERP), to assist employees who are forced to take unpaid leave due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The PENJANA HRDF, which was launched on June 22, was implemented to help address the issue of unemployment due to the pandemic.

Five schemes have been introduced under the programme namely Training and Placement, B40 Development, SME Development, Industrial Revolution 4.0 and Gerak Insan Gemilang (GIG).

In Penang, a total of 150 trainees participated in the five-day programme from Oct 12 to 16 which emphasised on skills training in producing competitive human capital.


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