18,000 jobs on offer
Even as many worry about losing their jobs in the current economic climate, the Human Resources Ministry has declared that there are at least 18,000 jobs within the private sector available in the country.
The Ministry’s Labour Department director-general Datuk Ismail Abdul Rahim yesterday said the ministry would be holding a job fair at its Centre for Instructor and Advanced Skills Training in Jalan Petani, Section 19, Shah Alam, from 9am to 5pm this Saturday.
“Our priority is for those who have been retrenched due to the current economic slowdown and to find job placements for them. It will be managed by the ministry’s officials, with 20 employers
participating in the programme,” said Ismail.
He also reminded Malaysian workers retrenched in Singapore to register with the Labour Department’s offices nationwide so that the ministry could help them secure new jobs.
“To facilitate this process, those retrenched in the republic must register with our Operations Room (set up for retrenched workers since October last year) at any Labour Department office within the country so that we can assist them”.
Asked how many had registered with the department so far, he answered “none”. Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam had said in December last year that Malaysians laid off in Singapore could register for work at the department in Johor Baru but not many had signed up.
Some 300,000 Malaysians are said to be working in Singapore.
On another note, the minister maintained that retrenchment figures noted by employers up to middle of the year was in the region of 25,000 employees, with feedback coming from some 800 employers who had notified the Labour Department.
From October last year to Feb 20, those retrenched — or laid off from their jobs — stood at 21,699, of which 4,974 opted for voluntary separation schemes (VSS).
The others were terminated from employment.
There is also another scheme called “temporary lay-off”, whereby employees are laid off between one and two months but return.
This latter option is “encouraged by the ministry”, given that a firm’s business would have been affected by falling orders but the employees still remain on the payroll.
“Once the business picks up, the employees will resume work as usual with the employer,” said Ismail.
Adding that negotiations were sometimes needed between employers and employees for such schemes, he said: “Our records show 45,000 workers have been laid-off temporarily from last October to February. If this figure were to be added to 21,699 retrenched workers, then it is likely to be in the region of 67,000.
“To say 80,000-odd people had been terminated from their jobs in the country is not right.”
Malay Mail had reported on Jan 30 that the manufacturing, food and beverage and small business sectors accounted for the bulk of the 11,600 workers who had been retrenched since the end of October last year.
Some 18,000 employees had also opted for pay cuts, while 45,000 had been subjected to shorter working days in a week.
It was also reported then that the ministry was finalising mechanisms for those retrenched, offering retraining so that these individuals could be reemployed.
The training is facilitated by the ministry for free and is being implemented from this month onwards.