JOHOR BARU: The state government is surprised that there is a shortage of local crane drivers, as some local vocational institutes are offering such training courses.
State Unity and Human Resources committee chairman R. Vidyanathan said there could be a “mismatch” and offered to look into the problem to find a solution.
He said crane drivers require special licences and were highly in demand and paid well.
“I am hearing the same complaints from employers from the construction industry, that they lack local crane drivers.
“When I ask locals they say no opportunities for them as all such jobs are given to foreigners.
“This is a problem that needs to be addressed,” he said after attending a National Day celebration at the Cerebral Palsy Special School here yesterday.
Vidyanathan said he hoped to have a meeting with officials from the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) on this.
“For me, the safety at work sites is important and DOSH should carry out operations against such illegal crane drivers as Johor has a lot of high-rise developments. I do not want a repeat of what happened in Kuala Lumpur to occur here,” he said.
Vidyanathan said he was willing to engage with local industry players on how to resolve the problem.
He also urged locals not to assume that the jobs in the construction sector were low paying as some jobs came with high salaries.
He was commenting on The Star's report that DOSH would start cracking down on tower crane operators who did not operate by the book.
In Johor alone, DOSH found 47 tower crane workers using fake competency licences.
The industry players are blaming the shortage of drivers on locals not being interested in 4D jobs – although the salary can be as high as RM10,000 monthly – as well as strict prohibition against foreigners operating cranes.