The Minister of Human Resource was disappointed that not many of the Malaysian retrenched workers take the opportunity to undergo training. The Minister claimed that they are choosy and unwilling to change their mindset. Of course the Minister is entitled to say what he wants to say. I know him to be one of those hardworking ministers but not pushy enough to make things move in the Ministry.
There is a lack of details about the various training program offered by the Ministry of Human Resources. I have said often in this blog that any training program to be successful should be tailored to the market demand and also taking into consideration the existing skills of the workers. It is difficult to train a middle aged retrenched worker in a totally new set of skills unrelated to his previous job. Training for job conversion requires a lot of cooperation from the industries.
Officials from the Ministry of Human Resource tend to simplify the employment scenario in the country by saying as an example, 10,000 people are retrenched but there are vacancies for 25,000 jobs. Problem arises is that the vacancies are not suitable for the job applicant. In this present downturn, most of the retrenched workers come from the manufacturing sector. Most of them are unskilled or semi skilled. The vacancies that exist will probably come from the service sector and the estates. Hence, one can imagine that it is not easy to migrate from the manufacturing sector to the estates. Hence, the number of vacancies and the number of retrenched workers do not reflect the actual employment situation on the ground. A lot of retrenched workers don’t bother to report to the Ministry of Human Resource, especially the Chinese workers. In the same way, a lot of employers don’t bother to report about job vacancies in their companies.
The estate sector and the construction sector are regarded as hard labour with low pay by Malaysians. Living in the estate is not the cup of tea for many Malaysians. I have alluded to this in one of my postings and I will not repeat here. Until they improve the pay and the perks, Malaysians will continue to avoid the estates. A general worker of RM600 can never survive even if they stay in the estate. Until we have a minimum wage, Malaysians will continue to avoid what is generally regarded as dirty, dull and manual work. Often, it is a job with no career path.