The Human Resources Ministry is conducting a study to determine the starting salary for each employment sector, particularly those involving university graduates.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Richard Riot said the effort was done to improve the salary schemes in this country to keep pace with the current economic situation.

"The study includes job placement from the city to rural areas according to their respective districts. Hopefully, it can be completed in six months,"

he said in reply to a supplementary question from Hee Loy Sian (PKR-Petaling Jaya Selatan) on measures to improve the starting salary of university graduates in Dewan Rakyat today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had stated that all government-linked companies (GLCs) must join the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M) to help reduce unemployment.

"Action including reduction of allocation, will be taken against GLCs which did not join or take in apprentices for training under SL1M,," he said when replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Noraini Ahmad (BN-Parit Sulong) on the measures that can be taken by companies in addressing it.

Riot said the government, with the cooperation of various ministries and agencies had offered many programmes to raise the employabality level of university graduates and youths.

They include SL1M by the Economic Planning Unit with the cooperation of JobsMalaysia, Graduates Enhancement Programme for Employability (Generate) by Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad and 'Golongan Pekerja dan Future Workers' programme organised by the Skills Development Fund Corporation.

"A report by the Statistics Department said the number of unemployed youths in 2015 was at 273,600 compared to 2014 in with 248,000 or a 1.2 percent rise.

"The high unemployment rate among graduates is a phenomenon faced by every developing and developed country. This group is in the transition process from school life to the job market and need to go through job hunting."

He said to assist and facilitate youths to find jobs, the ministry implemented initiatives such as creating a portal for employment, establish employment centres at Urban Transformation Centres (UTC) and establish career information centres.