TUARAN: The unemployment rate among youths aged between 15 and 40 nationwide has dropped to 5.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year compared to 5.9 per cent in the same period last year, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the percentage showed that the number of unemployed persons in the first quarter of this year was 585,000, down from 627,000 people in the same period last year.
“This number is expected to continue to decline if we take note of the various initiatives and programmes available for youths,” he said when launching the 2022 National Youth Day at Padang Pekan Tuaran here today.
Also present were Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, and Malaysian Youth Council president Mohd Izzat Afifi Abdul Hamid.
Themed ‘Ini Masa Kita’ (This is Our Time), the 2022 National Youth Day celebration is being held for three days starting yesterday.
To ensure that the youth unemployment rate continues to drop, Ismail Sabri said the government, among others, through strategic cooperation between the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries and the Department of Director General of Lands and Mines, would focus more on urban farming.
He said the effort was a strategy to increase youth involvement in the agro-food sector as well as the Young Agropreneur programme.
The Prime Minister said a total of 8,000 young entrepreneurs had received assistance comprising grants, funding, short-term courses, as well as technical and financial advisory services.
“The agro-food sector can provide a lucrative income if it is well managed using the latest technology. It can guarantee the quality of production that can be exported to help increase national income.
“Youth involvement in the agro-food sector will be strengthened through the organising of the Agro Job Fair programme at MAHA (Malaysia Agriculture, Horticulture and Agro-tourism Expo) 2022 next month which offers 5,000 job opportunities by participating companies. I call on interested graduates and youths to seize these job opportunities,” he said.