Unemployment in Sarawak is caused by “choosy” workers and not a lack of job vacancies, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing has said.
He noted that 3.5 per cent out of the 1.2 million able-bodied labour — or 38,400 — in Sarawak are unemployed.
“It is not because there are no jobs — jobs are available in Sarawak — but many people are selective; that is why they are unemployed. Do not be too choosy; try the various jobs available.
“Of course, we cannot get 100 per cent employment for locals because there are some who do not like the 3D (dirty, dangerous, difficult) jobs, so we have no choice but to get workers from outside,” he was quoted saying yesterday by local daily The Borneo Post.
However, he also pointed out the need to match workers with the right skills in the right industries, saying that there will otherwise be low productivity and low progress for the industry, while workers would feel frustrated due to the incompatibility.
“We have the skills and the industries, but not enough workers. We have to find who they are and where they fit in. That is why the Labour Department gets people to fill in their expertise and qualifications and then match them to the relevant industries,” he said.
Masing was speaking after the launch of the Sarawak Labour Department’s inaugural “Kembara Kerjaya” or Career Convoy, where 27 agencies and private firms will tourSarawak until August 23 with employment offers for 2,000 jobs.
He said unemployed Sarawakians could use the job-matching service by the Labour Department at the stopovers during the Career Convoy.
As for national oil giant Petronas not being part of this job-placement programme, Masing pointed out that the firm was currently retrenching staff, adding that the Labour Department only allows those with concrete job vacancies to set up booths at its career fairs.
The Malay Mail Online