New skills needed to stay employed

The government must announce impactful and immediate measures to cushion the economic blow due to the Covid-19 pandemic on our economy.

The country is facing the highest unemployment rate in 10 years and news is constantly trickling in that more companies are shutting down their businesses. This means more people are being retrenched.

The massive job losses have devastated livelihoods at unprecedented levels.

The government has been silent on measures to curb this. Do they not think the situation is dire enough to warrant immediate attention?

It must announce a financial package that will create jobs and improve the employment situation in the country.

The government also must fund efforts to reskill and upskill workers for them to remain relevant in the wake of the “new normal” that is shaping our economy.

The government must be aware of the needs of the B40 and vulnerable communities. These groups are the most affected by the current economic situation and need all the help they can get.

I suggest that immediate action be taken to set up traineeships, training and reskilling programmes for them.

The government can then work with companies to ensure these workers are made a priority when they look to hire.

It is important for Malaysians to pick up new skills to bring to their new jobs. The world and the economy is changing and industries are demanding all sorts of new skills from their workers.

The government can also encourage more Malaysians to take up these programmes by offering a small allowance to encourage them.

It is disappointing that my suggestion to set up a bipartisan national task force to secure business sustainability and job security for all Malaysians was not even considered by the government.

The government must put aside political interests as the impact of Covid-19 is threatening the nation as a whole.

The national task force, that could comprise experts from the human resources ministry, employers’ organizations, unions, opposition politicians and related agencies, would be a coordinated effort to ensure job security is secured and contributes to economic stability in the long run.

A win-win situation between employers and employees should be worked out.

M Kula Segaran is Ipoh Barat MP, DAP vice-chairman and former human resources minister.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.

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