Malaysia focusing skill development to maintains cap on foreign workers

Kuala Lumpur :  The number of documented foreign workers remains under control at an estimated 2.1 million from a total of 14 million active workforce, said Deputy Human Resources Minister Datuk Ismail Abdul Muttalib.

He said they would maintain the number of legal foreign workers below the 15 per cent limit, which is currently at 1 per cent away from the government’s cap. “We will always give priority to Malaysian workers and limit our foreign workers to 15 per cent,” he told during an open house celebration.

He said most of the foreign workers were employed in the plantation and construction sectors. The Government, he said, was planning to provide more skills training and financial assistance to ensure Malaysians were able to meet employers’ demands. “We will also look at the request made by employers based on the demand from each sector. Our focus is always on Malaysians.”

“Although our unemployment rate is low, we should not feel comfortable about it,” he added. He also said there were 28 per cent skilled workers from the total workforce, and that the Government would reach its target of 35 per cent skilled employees by 2020.

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