PETALING JAYA: Only 2% of employers are willing to pay fresh graduates a starting salary of RM3,000, according to online employment company JobStreet Malaysia.
Speaking to FMT, senior marketing communication executive Jessica Heng said this was based on a survey conducted in March across 405 companies representing the manufacturing, production, construction, building, engineering, retail and IT sectors.
According to the survey, 68% of employers filed complaints that fresh graduates demanded unrealistic salaries and benefits.
About 75% of graduates asked for starting salaries of RM2,400 while more than half asked for salaries of RM3,000 and above.
As a result, Heng said, the job applications of 72% of fresh graduates were rejected.
Meanwhile, 64% were choosy about their jobs and had a poor attitude, 59% had a poor command of English, and 53% had poor communication skills.
In a recent report by FMT, a number of fresh graduates said they needed RM3,000 a month in order to meet their daily expenses for food, transportation and rent, and for savings as well.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general J Solomon said their asking salary of RM3,000 was understandable as the current cost of living for fresh graduates included the repayment of student loans.
However, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Shamsuddin Bardan said the starting salary fresh graduates wanted was more suitable for those with a master’s degree.
Youth have been among the hardest hit by sluggish hiring trends in recent times, with the unemployment rate among this group in Malaysia soaring to 10.7% in 2015.
This is more than three times the national unemployment rate of 3.1%, according to statistics published in the 2016 Bank Negara Malaysia annual report.
Afiqah Farieza contributed to this article.