On Labour Day (May 1), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has urged employers in Malaysia to prioritise on local workforce to fill job vacancies in helping the government to materialise its five core areas in the Workers Transformation Leap.

He said the government would organise the Job Fair @ UTC 2.0, to be launched on a large scale on May 20, offering about 20,000 job vacancies from 300 employers, according to Bernama.

“Do give a chance to Malaysian workers, if possible. Don't just offer jobs to foreigners. Give priority to the local workers,” he said to the 5,000-strong crowd who came to listen to his 2017 Labour Day speech.

In his message, Najib shared several government initiatives in place to enhance the local workforce:

Empowering employment services public agencies

The government was now reviewing the roles of JobsMalaysia Centre so that it would be more interactive and effective to act as the facilitator in job matching between job seekers and employers.

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Optimising human capital and strengthening salary system

Najib said the government was now promoting the practice of the Productivity-Linked Wage System (PLWS), to overcome the income gap among the society.

“Almost 81,000 employers, involving approximately 3.5 million workers, have applied the PLWS as of April 2017. The government hopes that the target of 85,000 employers to implement the PLWS which will benefit about 3.7 million workers by 2020, will be achieved,” he added.

Najib also urges employers and industry players to apply the PLWS and payroll handbook. When their workers’ salaries commensurate with their qualifications, experience and productivity, this will certainly boost the competitiveness of the respective industry.

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More initiatives for vulnerable groups

Najib reassures that the government would continue to strengthen its collaboration with the private sector in providing a conducive working environment for female employees, including reviewing maternity leave, as well as paternity leave for eligible male workers.

He also launched the OKU (persons with disabilities) Talent Enhancement Programme (OTEP) under the transformation programme to enhance the skills and employability of the group.

To prioritise the welfare and well-being of workers and vulnerable groups, several measures had been taken including the implementation of the national minimum wage policy.

“More than 121,000 employers revealed that that 98% of them had complied with the minimum wage policy while the remaining two percent had been slapped with the notice of compliance,” said Najib.

Photo/ 123RF