JOB opportunities in the state continue to increase each year with the bulk of the vacancies available in the manufacturing sector (offering 91,758 vacancies), agriculture and forestry (8,608), mining and quarry (8,452) and construction (6,899).
Last year, a total of 129,921 jobs were available statewide compared with 128,721 in 2013 and 105,993 in 2012.
Johor Unity and Human Resources exco member R. Vidyanathan said the state’s unemployment rate was actually lower than the national average.
“If a person in Johor tells me that they are finding it hard to find a job, then the person is either choosy or just not interested in working,” he said, adding that the state’s unemployment rate for 2013 was 2.8% compared with the national average of 3.1%.
He pointed out that the three new sectors that would be in demand in the coming years were the oil and gas sector, hospitality and tourism sector and creative and multimedia sector.
“The oil and gas sector alone is expected to generate at least 50,000 jobs in the future,” he said.
He stressed that the vast development in Johor, especially in Iskandar Malaysia, was attracting more people to remain employed here rather than seeking greener pastures abroad.
He said more Malaysians working in Singapore have chosen to return home for job opportunities because of the rapid development.
Skilled workers have the edge as their expertise is needed in the maritime, oil and gas, and construction industries, especially in the Pengerang and Desaru coastal developments, within the next five years.
“If they have the required skills and experience, the pay at the multinational companies here can be as good as what they were being offered in Singapore.
“There is also a higher chance of promotion because this batch of workers will be the pioneers of the development here,” he said.
He urged the 90 private and government institutions in the state to offer the skills training courses needed.
“The state government through the state economic planning unit (Upen) is also giving out scholarships to students from low-income families for six-month skills training programmes,’’ he said.
He added that the state government would continue to make an effort to match employers and employees through career carnivals statewide.
“Last year, we had at least seven major career carnivals statewide and the response has been good,” he said, adding that such carnivals allowed jobseekers to know about the jobs available.
He added that the four-day Kembara Kerjaya, which seven districts in Johor – Johor Baru, Kota Tinggi, Mersing, Muar, Batu Pahat, Kluang and Pontian – participated in at the end of last year, was a huge success.
“It was the first time such an event was held in the country,” he said, adding that the response was positive as some 80,000 people attended all the carnivals last year.
He advised jobseekers not to be too choosy about jobs and to find out about the development taking place in the state so that they would know the relevant courses to take to stay marketable.
Vidyanathan also stressed that skills training could no longer be regarded as preparing people for a menial or low-paying job as there is a huge demand for such jobs in the state.
He added that if Johoreans did not seize these opportunities, such jobs would be offered to people from other states such as Sabah, Sarawak and Terengganu instead.
“If locals are too choosy, we will just have to open up these opportunities to foreign workers,” he said, adding that with the rapid development and investments coming into the state, Johor was expected to overtake Selangor and Penang.
He also urged the 2,000 companies to make use of the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) to train their workers.
The Human Resources Ministry collects some RM500mil annually as levy from the manufacturing and services sectors nationwide to be channelled into skills training for their employees.