TAPAH | A total of 64,495 workers from various sectors nationwide have lost their jobs since early this year, according to Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan (pix).

He said the statistics released by the office of the Employment Insurance System (SIP) of the Social Security Organisation (Socso) were higher than the number given by various employment agencies, namely 55,000 workers.

Therefore, Saravanan said the government had taken several steps, including introducing the hiring incentive and training assistance programme or PenjanaKerjaya starting June 15 to help retrenched workers.

“As of July 23, a total of 16,198 employers have registered under this incentive and out of that number, 2,240 employers have employed 6,928 employees.

“We also announced that there will be no new intake of foreign workers in all sectors until the year-end as locals will be given priority to fill up vacancies,” he told a press conference after launching the PenjanaKerjana Carnival at Dewan Merdeka, here today.

Some 7,000 vacancies were offered and more than 20 employers participated in the open interview programme at the carnival, which took place from 9am to 4.30pm.

Saravanan said the carnival would be expanded to several states such as Johor, Malacca, Penang, Kedah, Sabah and Sarawak to help more job seekers.

In Perak, he said 420 employers have registered under the PenjanaKerjaya programme and out of that number, 147 employers have hired staff while 510 people have landed a job.

“According to statistics from the Department of Statistics Malaysia, the unemployment rate in Perak in the first quarter of this year is 3.4% and according to the Perak Today portal, youth (aged between 15 and 30) unemployment rate is at 5%.

“Based on SIP office’s statistics, from January to July 15 this year, a total of 3,472 workers who lost their jobs in Perak are registered with SIP,“ he said.

Meanwhile, an Orang Asli man, Rimi Busu, 32, was grateful that he managed to land a job at a mushroom factory through the PenjanaKerjaya programme last month after being jobless for nearly three months.