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Preference for locals more than foreign workers: Human Resources Ministry

KUALA LUMPUR: The Human Resources Ministry has introduced several measures, in its efforts to prioritise the employment of locals over foreign workers.
These steps include restricting the employment of foreign workers as frontliners, such as hiring them only as housekeepers in the hotel industry, hiring only men as caddy workers, Filipino women as domestic workers, and not hiring Indonesian men as factory workers.
The ministry has also formulated laws that limit employers from dismissing local employees to replace them with foreign workers as stated by Section 60(M) of the Employment Act 1955.
Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Ismail Muttalib said the responsibility of making levy payments will also be placed on employers to discourage the employment of foreign workers.
"We will reevaluate how to tackle the culture of outsourcing where foreign workers make up a bulk of employees that are often hired.
"We also want to encourage labour-intensive industries to increase the use of technology and automation in their day-to-day operations and intensify the implementation of the Industrialised Building System (IBS) in the construction industry.
"To ensure this, we will enhance skill training programmes to prepare the local workforce for this industry," said Ismail.
Ismail added the government expects highly skilled workers to form 35 per cent of the total workforce by 2020.
"We will also make it compulsory for employers to advertise job vacancies via JobsMalaysia, a platform that offers local job seekers with information to ease the job application process," he said.
Ismail also urged graduates who are pursuing their studies overseas to return to Malaysia to fill up the local workforce requirements.
"To date we have 1.8 million odd foreign workers and more than a hundred thousand expatriates working with us.
"Why should these graduates seek job opportunities overseas when expetriates are pining for jobs in the local job marker?" he said.
He highlighted that to date, 4,238 locals have filled up jobs that employers had put up requests for foreign workers.
"This proves that the younger generation have the qualifications to fill job spots of foreign workers.
"Since 2016 we have found 5,754 local citizens jobs that employers initially requested to employ for foreign workers," he said.

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