Even skilled workers in Malaysia are not spared of retrenchments in the last two years. More than half of the employees who have lost jobs in 2015 and 2016 are skilled workers. Most of these employees were plant and machine operators, assemblers, managers and technicians.
According to statistical findings from the Human Resources Ministry, 11,910 plant and machine operators, and assemblers were retrenched last year, followed by PMETs and associate professionals, The Star Malaysia reports.
Other 37,699 skilled workers who were retrenched last year, most are from agriculture, forestry, livestock, craft and trade. The total number of people who lost their jobs in 2015 was 38,499. This, however, excluded the retrenchment exercise of Malaysian Airlines in 2015.
In 2015, 17,379 managers were impacted as well. Others included plant and machine operators and assemblers (4,213), technicians and associate professionals (3,926) and professionals (3,812).
Malaysian Employers Federation, Executive Director, Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan believes that the actual retrenchment figures are different from those provided by the Ministry and the real numbers could be misleading. Since as per the Employment Act, companies are not required to report if they only retrench fewer than six people. So the numbers reported could be higher than the ones totaled by the Ministry.
Shamsuddin also believes that there are some companies who do not report layoffs to the Ministry, despite being compelled by law to do so. He further added disruptive technology could also affect employment, with many companies adopting automation technologies and artificial intelligence tools to go manpower lean. Hence, job creation in these challenging times is a daunting task.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the Employment Insurance System (EIS) as a safety net for about 6.5 million employees in the private sector. The EIS slated to begin next year is meant to help workers cope in a demanding labour market.
Employees affected by retrenchments will get temporary financial aid as per the system, besides help in looking for new job opportunities through an employment-seeking programme.
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