Drawing women into the workforce

Liew (centre) holding a poster about the May 4 career fair in Iskandar Puteri, flanked by FMM Johor branch chairman Saw Seong Ho (to his right) and event organising chairman Jantzen Ng.

Deputy minister calls on companies to offer flexible work hours to entice them back

COMPANIES should look at offering flexible working hours to attract more women to join the “tight labour market” in the country, and especially in Johor.

Deputy Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Liew Chin Tong said with the high currency exchange rate, more people would be enticed to seek employment in Singapore, hence the labour shortage here.

“One way to overcome this is for companies to offer flexible working hours to attract women who have stopped working due to family commitments or to raise their children,” he said.

He added that companies like Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) had even trained women to become drivers.

Liew said Malaysia’s unemployment rate was low at 3.3% while in Johor it was even “tighter” at only 2.7%.

“It is no longer a scenario of workers looking for jobs but instead companies needing to be creative and innovative to attract talent,” said the Perling assemblyman who is also Iskandar Puteri MP.

He added that companies could also set up childcare services within their organisation to get mothers to rejoin the workforce.

Liew said this after a press conference to publicise an upcoming career fair on May 4 that his constituency office is organising in collaboration with Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Johor branch.

The fair is expected to feature 1,000 jobs offered by 42 companies, with salaries starting at RM3,500.

Liew said companies should be willing to pay more to entice good workers.

He said workers also need to undergo reskilling or training if they wanted better jobs or higher salaries.

“This is the first time we are doing such a career fair which offers jobs paying more than RM3,500 and so far, the response from companies has been good,” he added.

There will also be talks on topics such as best work practices and getting more women to rejoin the workforce.

The career fair, from 10am to 4pm, will take place at Sunway Big Box in Iskandar Puteri.

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