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When it comes to youth unemployment, blame is often placed squarely on graduates lacking the skills and experience that are necessary, which render them less attractive to employers.

But graduates themselves commonly retort that they cannot gain experience if they are not given any opportunity to work.

This “chicken and egg” situation has led to a high youth unemployment rate in Malaysia (10.7 percent), which according to Bank Negara’s 2016 annual report, is more than three times the national unemployment rate (at 3.1 percent).

Malaysiakini spoke to Barjoyai Bardai, an economist from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, who explained how this “chicken and egg” situation came to be and how to address it.

Barjoyai said many graduates these days frequently do not meet the high expectations of their employers, and lack some vital, in-demand skills – emotional intelligence, creativity and innovation, as well as the ability to anticipate and prepare for the future...

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