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Malaysia Budget 2024 debate: MOHR on efforts to reduce dependency on foreign workers

Malaysia Budget 2024 debate: MOHR on efforts to reduce dependency on foreign workers

Minister Sivakumar on expanding citizens' access to training, requirements for advertisements on job portals to ensure opportunities for locals, and more.

Minister of Human Resources V Sivakumar has shared an update following the conclusion of the debate on the 2024 Budget of the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR).

Key points shared are as follow:

Between 16 October 2023 and 15 November 2023, the Department Of Labour Peninsular Malaysia (JTKSM) received a total of 329 applications for the initial approval to employ foreign workers under Section 60K of the Labour Act 1955, for three service subsectors.

  1. Textiles
  2. Barbers
  3. Gold

Of these, 165 applications were rejected, with the majority being due to an offence under Act 446. Of the remaining, the 121 employers who have received approval from JTKSM are required to attend an interview session at the KSM One Stop Center for the further quota approval process.

Next, as part of efforts to reduce Malaysia's dependency on foreign workers, the Ministry of Human Resources has launched a skills training programme for the barber subsector.

The Malaysian Indian Community Transformation Unit (MITRA) is also working with TEKUN to help Indian entrepreneurs develop businesses, particularly barbers with traditional and semi-traditional characteristics.

Apart from the above, Minister Sivakumar highlighted, employers are also encouraged to offer attractive salary packages and optimise the use of existing foreign workforce to train local workers.

As stated by MOHR, the employment of foreign workers must be based on the real needs of the industry and only allowed in sectors that require such labour (real industrial demand). Employers are required to advertise job vacancies for no less than 14 days on the MyFutureJobs Portal to give opportunities to local workers before being allowed to apply for foreign workers.

In that vein, screening on the applications will be done to ensure that only employers who are capable and comply with labour standards, including compliance with the minimum wage, provision of housing and basic facilities, as well as without a record of labour violations, are eligible to apply for foreign workers.

Other efforts include:

  • Providing skills training programmes for employees to improve their self-advancement, so that they can adapt to changing work requirements in the future and face an increasingly competitive and dynamic global environment.
  • The development of the National Occupational Skills Standard for 21 economic sectors, which serves as a reference in the development of training programmes in public and private training institutions, according to the level of skills required.
  • Intensifying efforts to expand citizens' access to training. There are also efforts to expand citizens' access to Technical and Vocational Training and Education.
    • A total of 562 public skill training institutions across the country have been established, offering various skill courses tailored to the needs of the industry.
  • The Ministry will continue to hold engagement sessions with the industry, departments and agencies involved to share information, study workforce needs in facing industry 4.0, and create new job opportunities.

Lead image / Minister of Human Resources V Sivakumar 

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