The unemployed graduates issue has been publicly discussed for many years and, despite many attempts by both the Government and the private sector, it is far from being resolved.

One wonders how many more years will be required before the public universities and government-sponsored institutions can do something to put this matter to rest.

Once again, due to the many shortcomings, the Government has to fork out tens of millions to continue with its training programme for unemployed graduates, including diploma and certificate holders, to assist them in finding jobs.

Actually, once they have completed their university and diploma education, they should be able to look after themselves, at least on paper. However, this is not happening and the Government, via the Human Resources Ministry, has once again stepped in.

The programme to help the trainees acquire knowledge in English, communicative skills and information communications technology had produced satisfactory results; most of those who had undergone the course were able to find work.

However, the new batch of trainees will no longer get the RM500 monthly allowance during the six-month course, which was enjoyed by earlier groups.

The allowance was to relieve them of the financial burden of having to use their own money for their daily expenses such as transport, food and other incidentals.

This allowance has been perceived as being too generous and the Government will be able to make a saving of RM3,000 per participant in doing away with this additional expenditure.

The savings should be used to provide more places for those in need of such training. This incentive could be abused as some were attending the course just for the pocket money.

Some of the institutions offering the course could have abused this training scheme by inflating their enrolment figures and pocketing the additional funds allotted to them.

With so many private institutions being involved, it is quite difficult for the ministry to monitor all their activities. Quite often it would have to depend on the honesty of these operators.

Hopefully, this will be the last training programme for unemployed graduates and diploma holders, as the Government cannot be expected to keep on bankrolling such activities.

This should be the responsibility of the public universities and other institutions, which are given hundreds of millions a year to provide their students with the skills and knowledge to play a useful role in national development.