Graduate Unemployment What Solution?

Graduate unemployment at highest level now. What solution to this problem? WZWH presents the issue by analysing the UK and Malaysia data on graduate unemployment.

UK case:
  • Nearly one in 11 graduates are unemployed six months after leaving university – the highest proportion for 17 years, a study reveals today.
  • Rising numbers are taking jobs that do not require degrees, including as waiters and checkout workers, the survey of almost 225,000 graduates shows.
  • The study found 8.9% of graduates, or just over 21,000, were out of a job after six months, a one percentage point rise on the previous year.

Malaysia case:
  • According to statistics from the Higher Education Ministry, 30,000 graduates remained jobless six months after graduation. 
  • Graduate unemployment is higher among less English command graduates
  • Those who had studied Chinese had the highest starting salary 
  • Graduates unemployment is lower among Mandarin speaking graduates
The Guardian reports that graduate unemployment is at its highest rate for the last seventeen years. Is this a surprise to anyone? You don't need an economics degree to figure out what happens when you oversupply something without the demand for it.

One of the policies of the last government has been to squeeze as many people through university as possible, irrespective of the need for more university graduates, in the naïve believe that having more university graduates is an infinitely good thing.

As today’s report shows, this view was wrong. There is an oversupply of graduates caused by government subsidies for university education, just as there is an oversupply of farm produce caused by government subsidies for farming. This oversupply has depressed wages and, as today’s report shows, created mass unemployment for graduates.

Today’s report should be a wake-up call to the government, hammering home the damage that social engineering policies can cause. If some of the now-unemployed graduates had spent the last four years in the workforce, developing skills that were needed by employers, far fewer would be in their situation.

Top-down attempts to reshape society rarely work as their planners intend. The experiment with creating a ‘knowledge economy’ by creating a massive number of university graduates has failed, by creating a supply where there was little demand. Had the government not skewed market incentives for school-leavers by subsidizing university educations, the one in eleven graduates who are now unemployed might not be in this situation.

The current trend of hiring candidates based on their productivity and compatibility can help to overcome unemployment among graduates.

The reason for graduate unemployment was because of the low demand for graduates from certain fields of studies. 

This can be overcome because the current employment trend is not just based on a graduate's field of study.

What is the total number of unemployed graduates in Malaysia and why they were jobless. 

HRM said according to statistics from the Higher Education Ministry, 30,000 graduates remained jobless six months after graduation. 

HRM said to increase their employability, the ministry, through the Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad, had implemented the Graduate Employability Programme giving graduates added value through information technology needed in high-end services. 

This year 1,000 graduates will be trained under this scheme.

Various programmes would be held under other ministries including the Industrial Scheme Enhancement Programme by the Finance Ministry, the Graduate Employability Management Scheme (GEMS) by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Business Process Outsourcing Programme and SME-University Internship Programme coordinated by the Higher Education Ministry.


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