MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku



Tuesday, May 31, 2022

FMM concerned over plan to export skilled Malaysians to Japan

The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has expressed concern over the government's plan to export skilled Malaysians to Japan.

It contended that the focus should be on shoring up adequate local supply instead.

FMM president Soh Thian Lai said there were no prior consultations or details made available on this potential skill export to Japan.

As such, he said the federation hoped for more information to be shared on the memorandum of collaboration (MOC) between Malaysia and Japan to be shared by the Human Resources Ministry.

This is so the industry will be clear on how the collaboration might work, he said.

“As it stands, Malaysia is currently facing an acute shortage of manpower, especially skilled workers, which is hampering our national economic recovery. The labour shortage has caused work stoppages and underproduction across the industry.

“Output has been severely constrained, resulting in the failure to fulfil existing orders and accept new ones,” he said in a statement today.

The government recently said it planned to send local skilled graduates and/or eligible skilled workers to work in Japan under an MOC between Malaysia and Japan.

Soh (above) said the constraints on the supply of goods to satisfy the required demand would add further inflationary pressures despite the recent benchmark interest rate hike by Bank Negara Malaysia which was intended to dampen inflation.

Home-grown skilled workers

At this juncture, he said Malaysia is still preparing to get more skilled workers through various programmes such as Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) courses at various levels of the education system.

He said local public institutions and industries were enhancing collaboration initiatives in promoting TVET and Stem as a way to boost greater interest and participation of Malaysian youths in TVET and Stem education.

"This is also an initiative to support the technology transformation of our industries and at the same time to reduce the hiring of skilled expatriates.

“The MOC with Japan would somehow hamper the initiatives and hard work from all parties involved that has been ongoing over the past several years.

“The Covid-19 pandemic had accelerated industrial and technological transformation, hence, the critical shortage of skilled workers is envisaged to continue for the next few years as we are coping with the transformational changes and increased demand for skilled manpower,” he said.

In addition, Soh noted that Malaysia has already been suffering from a brain drain for some years now as many Malaysians have been migrating overseas in search of better jobs.

Malaysia has been working hard to bring these workers back via various initiatives, Soh said.

He added that, as such, Malaysia should continue these sustainable programmes for self-help first and do all that is possible and necessary to ensure the industries do not face a dearth of skilled workers.

“The country should be more concerned with the brain-drain issues than to be thinking about repatriating earnings from overseas via exchange programmes.

“Obtaining upskilling opportunities in developed countries could be something that Malaysian employers could consider after or as part of the on-the-job training.

“Instead of exporting skilled workers, Malaysia should consider a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with companies in Malaysia for formal apprenticeship and upskilling programmes to be carried out by the global parent companies. This will help alleviate the skill shortages faced by our industries,” he said.

He added that with the current employment condition of 80:20 ratio of local workers to foreign employees imposed by the government, the MoC will further hamper the ability of Malaysian industries to obtain skilled manpower.


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