GEORGE TOWN: Penang has been constantly experiencing lower unemployment rate than the country as a whole, said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng.
He said despite the global economic crisis between 2007 and 2009, Penang’s unemployment rate remained well below the natural rate of unemployment of four per cent.
“It fluctuates between 2.4 per cent and 1.7 per cent. We now record the lowest unemployment rate in Malaysia and Malaysian history at 1.2 per cent. This shows the labour market in Penang has been competitive and robust thus far,” he said.
He said this in his speech at the signing ceremony for the German Dual Vocational Training Programme between Penang Skills and Development Centre (PSDC) and the industry in Penang here, Tuesday.
Lim said with the German Dual Vocational Training Programme, the first of its kind in Malaysia, the state government would ensure that Penang will remain the country’s premier destination to invest, learn, work and live.
He said the introduction of the programme in Penang also served as a social objective by upskilling another segment of the workforce that would reduce income inequality in the state.
“Although Penang’s income inequality, as measured by Gini coefficient, is lower compared to that of Malaysia. I believe that all segments of Penang’s labour force should be given the right support to improve and increase their wage levels further,” he added.
Lim said through this programme, the students would be hired by the training company as regular staff with a monthly salary, while simultaneously being trained at the training institution to enhance their theoretical knowledge.
Meanwhile, PSDC chairman Dr Juergen Schloesser said there are 22 apprentices from three host companies involved in the programme since it kicked off last month.
“We now have a total of seven host companies in this programme. They are B Braun Medical Industries Sdn Bhd, Carsem (M) Sdn Bhd, Dynacraft Industries Sdn Bhd, Inari Technology Sdn Bhd, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors (M) Sdn Bhd, Robert Bosch (M) Sdn Bhd and Southern Steel Bhd,” he said.