Workers not to blame for skills gap, MTUC says on rise in contract staff

Employers are reportedly less optimistic about their ability to recruit workers with the necessary skill set.

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) says there is a lack of training at many companies following a survey showing that the hire of contract workers is on the rise, in part to fill the gaps in skill set among permanent workers.

MTUC secretary-general J Solomon said many companies only provide training for employees in the management sector, while others are left to the guidance of e-learning programmes.

“Gone are the days of frequent classroom training and personalised coaching,” he told FMT.

“If an ordinary worker asks for more, the answer is: ‘Take your own initiative’.”

He said even e-learning programmes are often used as a short-cut to ensure that workers are trained quickly and at minimum cost.

Releasing too many employees for training might also “cripple the company’s operations”, he added.

Solomon was commenting on this year’s edition of the Hays Asia Salary Guide which said employers are turning more and more to temporary and contract workers.

The report, which took into account salary and recruitment trends in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, said 27% of local companies acknowledged hiring temporary or contract staff on a regular basis compared to 21% in 2017.

More employers were also expected to increase their reliance on temporary or contract staff, at 26% in 2019 versus 23% in 2017.

Factors cited included a shortage of skilled workers, an increase in business activity, and the benefit of contained recruitment costs.