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Grant Launched For Employers To Recruit Women Returnees

2015 Career Comeback Programme launched by the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development.

KUALA LUMPUR, 2 March 2015 – A new Government grant was launched today to encourage companies to employ women who have taken career breaks, as part of a nationwide plan to increase female participation in the workplace and maximise Malaysia’s talent.

The grant was announced by the Minister of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) YB Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim as part of the Career Comeback Programme which was launched at Connexion@Nexus, Bangsar South this morning. Also in attendance was Johan Mahmood Merican, Chief Executive Officer of Talent Corporation Malaysia (TalentCorp).

To provide opportunities for women to return to work, KPWKM together with TalentCorp launched a Career Comeback Grant to provide financial incentives for employers to implement programmes to recruit and retain women who have been on career breaks. This initiative will also support employers in meeting their talent needs as well as increase diversity and inclusion in their workplace to contribute to long-term business success.

“It is crucial that we have employers’ support in the Career Comeback Programme, so that our country can optimise our women talent pool and at the same time enable women to succeed in their career ambitions as well as other personal obligations,” said YB Dato’ Sri Rohani Abdul Karim. “But while the Government can drive legislation, we also need to ensure that companies have the incentives required to make the changes.”

The grants – the Resourcing Grant and the Retention Grant – are structured for companies to attract and retain women who have been on career breaks for more than six months. Eligible companies may claim one or both grants.

The Resourcing Grant is available for companies who have implemented or enhanced a programme or campaign to recruit women returnees. Companies will receive a co-funding of 75% of the cost incurred to run the programme, which may include recruitment costs, targeted campaigns, technology investment and/or other related expenses.

The Retention Grant is available for companies who have successfully recruited and retained women returnees for more than six months. The grant amount is equivalent to the returnees’ one month salary, to encourage employers to recruit and facilitate their transition back to work.

“We understand it can be challenging and daunting to look for a job after time out of the workforce,” said Johan Mahmood Merican. “We hope to ease this process by connecting jobseekers who are women returnees to potential employers. By giving targeted financial incentives, we can encourage employers to expand their talent pool and at the same time provide career opportunities for women looking to return to work.”

Malaysia wants to increase the rate of female participation in the workforce to 55 percent by the end of 2015. It currently stands at 52.4 percent1, one of the lowest among ASEAN countries. Malaysia also wants to increase the number of women in decision-making roles to 30 percent by the end of 2016.

According to research carried out by KPWKM and the UNDP2 , two out of every three women surveyed gave up their jobs to look after their children and were between the ages of 25-39, a pivotal time in career development. Others left to look after family members, or find an easier work-life balance.

In conjunction with the Career Comeback Programme, KPWKM and TalentCorp also organised a Career Comeback Fair which enabled employers to reach out directly to women looking to return to the workforce. More than 30 employers took part in the event which attracted more than 500 women keen to make their career comeback. Some of the participating employers include Accenture Malaysia, EcoWorld, Maybank Group, Shell Malaysia, Sunway Group and Taylor’s Education Group.

“As part of our initiatives to attract and retain women in the workforce, we have launched the Women Talent Project,” says Sarena Cheah, Sunway Group’s Managing Director of Strategy and Corporate Development. “This project encompasses several holistic components such as flexible working arrangements, childcare centre and mother’s room to provide support for women returning to the workforce after taking a lengthy break to care for their families. In addition, Sunway has made it easier for women or mothers who are driven to make their career comeback by applying via the group’s dedicated recruitment webpage.”

For employers who are keen to know more about the Career Comeback Grant, and women who are interested to find out more about job opportunities and ways to submit their résumés, visit the flexWorkLife.my portal for further information.


1Department of Statistics Malaysia, 2013
2Study to Support the Development of National Policies and Programmes to Increase and Retain the Participation of Women in the Malaysian Labour Force: Key Findings and Recommendations, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development and United Nations Development Programme, September 2014

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