E&E sector needs more engineers as demand increases

GEORGE TOWN: While businesses show improvements and various industries are hiring new workers, the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector here is facing a tight supply of engineers.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Penang chairman Datuk Jimmy Ong said, generally, businesses are improving but due to the limited supply of semi-skilled and skilled workers, many industries are affected.

“The E&E sector, in particular, needs more engineers to cater to increasing demand and progress of the companies.

“Over the years, multinational corporations (MNCs) and various companies have come to Penang. When they set up here, they need the local workforce to support their operations.

“With a shortage of engineers, companies are forced to attract and recruit engineers from existing companies or get engineers from one another,” he said.

Ong said while local companies struggled to employ engineers, MNCs and large companies would sometimes recruit engineers by offering higher salaries and benefits to those in the local companies.

“For other companies and factories, the concern remains with regard to the freeze on foreign workers and supply of local workers.

“Unless companies are able to recruit new workers, their operations may need to be scaled down,” he added.

Meanwhile, Small and Medium Enterprises Association (Samenta) national secretary Yeoh Seng Hooi said as businesses progress, many SMEs are facing problems with clearing their production backlog.

“This is due to our tight labour supply in semi-skilled and skilled workers.

“Our business prospects are expected to improve going forward as some companies will recover faster than others with consumer confidence picking up.

“But with concerns of labour supply, we are facing supply chain bottlenecks across SMEs,” he added.

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