Young people in Malaysia are facing major difficulties in transitioning from school to work, despite being the country’s best-educated generation, according to the Khazanah Research Institute.
Datuk Shahril Ridza bin Ridzuan, Khazanah National Bhd Managing Director, said youths aged between 15 and 24 years old comprised more than half (56.4%) of the total unemployed, while those aged between 25 and 29 accounted for a further 21.1% of the total.
According to the School-To-Work Transition of Young Malaysians report, which was based on an extensive survey of young Malaysian men and women aged between 15 and 29 in school and at the workplace, academic and training institutions are not generating the kinds of graduates that companies are seeking.
“Employers prefer soft skills and work experience above academic or professional qualifications that are emphasised by schools and universities,” said Shahril Ridza.
He also said that young workers with technical and vocational education and training, or with science, technology, engineering and mathematics qualifications, are falling behind employer demands.
Those with entrepreneurship skills are also in short supply.