GEORGE TOWN: There is a need for guidelines to protect the welfare of gig workers in the country as they are not receiving sufficient protection currently, says V. Sivakumar.
"At present, we have an estimated one million gig workers in the country.
"We need guidelines to ensure their social security and future is protected," the Human Resources Minister told reporters Thursday (June 1).
Sivakumar, who also responded to calls by several higher education councils for the government to protect interns undergoing industrial training, said they are covered under the existing Employment Act 1955.
"Under the existing Act, the matter is covered and sufficient," he said, adding that the ministry will continue looking into their concerns.
Earlier, he opened the northern region National Human Capital Conference & Exhibition (NHCCE) at Setia SPICE Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas.
In his speech, Sivakumar said the two-day conference on Wednesday and Thursday featuring talks by over 20 top industry leaders and 50 exhibitors was an excellent platform for government representatives, academia, industry players, and working professionals in Penang, Perak, Kedah and Perlis to come together to discuss human capital challenges and opportunities in a meaningful way.
"Last year, we recorded gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 8.7%.
"This is our highest annual growth in 22 years, indicating that Malaysia is on a solid path to recovery, despite the global and domestic uncertainties of the past few years.
"As global competition intensifies, countries are competing among themselves for a finite pool of foreign investments.
"To stand out from our regional peers and appeal to global players, we must continuously enhance our business environment.
"A crucial aspect of this endeavor is the development of a dynamic, knowledgeable, and highly skilled workforce through talent nurturing," he said.
Sivakumar added that the Human Resources Ministry is dedicated to formulating policies and spearheading initiatives that enable Malaysians to enhance their soft, technical, and future work skills, and would also support industry players in offering greater upskilling and reskilling opportunities for their employees.
Also present was Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow and Human Resources Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Norison Ramli.
The conference organised by Human Resource Development Corporation (HRD Corp) was themed HR 5.0: The Next Evolution in Human Resource Development and held for the first time in Penang.