Govt to encourage more locals, including Orang Asli, to seek jobs in plantation sector

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is aiming to solve the worker shortage issue by organising campaigns to encourage more locals, including Orang Asli, to work in the plantation sector and commodities industry.

Deputy Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng also said the government would continue prioritising locals seeking work in the sector, aside from strengthening human capital through training under the Institute of Malaysian Plantation and Commodities.

“The government, in cooperation with various ministries and relevant agencies, will continue to assist the agro-commodity sector by holding campaigns to encourage local employment agencies and locals to work in that sector,” he said in Parliament during Question Time on Wednesday (Dec 2).

Wee also said the government had given flexibility to employers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic to transfer their hired foreign workers to other companies through a change of employer application process.

Wee said this could be a short-term solution for employers who are financially affected to transfer their foreign workers to other companies that have room for employment.

At the same time, Wee said the ministry was aware that there was a shortage of workers due to the third wave of Covid-19 infections.

“The ministry is also aware that the shortage of manpower in the plantation and commodities sector is very critical and we are concerned that it could affect the performance as well as development of the agro-commodity industry in the country,” he added.

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