Freeze on foreign worker intake until year-end

Human resources minister M Saravanan flanked by HRDF officials Nelson Renganathan (left) and Shahul Hameed Dawood at the launch of a jobs initiative in Putrajaya today. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: There will be no new intake of foreign workers in all sectors until the year-end as locals will be given priority to fill up vacancies, said Human Resources Minister M Saravanan.

“We will not allow (new) foreign workers until year-end. They (foreigners) can come as tourists, if they are allowed,” he said at a news conference today.

He said there are now about two million foreign workers in the country. “We try to reduce foreign workers in the workforce besides giving priority to locals to secure jobs,” he said.

Saravanan said the ministry would evaluate the move by year-end to see if it was effective in helping the locals.

He advised job seekers not to be choosy about jobs to help the country reduce its dependence on foreign workers. “Don’t think about waiting for a suitable job because the right job might not exist in the immediate future,” he added.

40,000 jobs to be created within six months

Saravanan said as many as 40,000 jobs will be created within six months for Malaysians made jobless because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The job opportunities will be opened up under an initiative by the Human Resources Development Fund under a government economic stimulus programme.

For a start, 10 organisations were providing 20,000 jobs through the National Tech Association of Malaysia (Pikom); Tenaga Nasional Bhd; the Malaysia Digital Economy ; Brickfields Asia College; Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers; 7Eleven; AEON; Grab; Kelly; and Care Concierge.

Speaking at the launch of the HRDF Penjana initiative, Saravanan said these 10 organisations will offer jobs and skills training through five strategic initiatives provided by the HRDF.

The target group were jobless graduates with diploma or degrees, local workers, SME owners and workers, Malaysians from the B40 group and youths.

He said the HRDF had provided RM250 million in matching grants through the HRDF Penjana initiative.

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