‘Locally trained skilled workers offered better pay overseas’

Taib (fourth left) together with wife Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib (third right) and Adenan (second right) cut the ribbon to officially open the CTE. Also seen are Adenan’s wife Datuk Patinggi Datuk Jamilah Anu (right) and Morshidi (second left). — Photo by Muhd Rais Sanusi
There is a high demand for locally trained skilled workers worldwide, said Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud. He added they were, in fact, often easily seized by overseas firms that offer better pay while many would move elsewhere to find better jobs. To counter this, the Head of State suggested that the state government step in and be strongly involved with the industry and private sector to develop, attract and retain these highly skilled people to meet Sarawak’s future needs. “Such is the dilemma faced by private firms which provide training for this pool of talent but later having to retrain a new group of skilled workers,” Taib said. “Before, the private sector like Shell was responsible for training their ordinary employees to do jobs required of them. But today, we cannot afford to leave the private sector to provide such training alone,” he stressed. Taib was highlighting the need to provide young people with technical skills to meet the growing demand for such workforce. “The jump from having qualified technical workers to satisfy marginal needs to that of the most rapidly expanding sector and job creation is apparent today,” he said. This situation, Taib elaborated, was clearly reflected in the vast development taking place in Bintulu today. “Bintulu will become the hub for every industry including semi-industrial sector of manufacturing and production,” he said at the opening of Centre of Technical Excellence (CTE) at Jalan Sultan Tengah, Rampangi Santubong here yesterday. “The stiff competition for technical workers in Bintulu is apparent. On the good side, we see the opportunities available, but it will be seen as a bad sign if we cannot cope with producing such workers,” he said. Taib re-emphasised that Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) alone, which will bring transformation to the state, will make available over 300,000 work opportunities by 2030. “With all these in progress, it indicates that the demand for skills and technical jobs will increase, especially for the development of Sarawak,” he said, indicating the tight situation faced by the state to produce sufficient number of such workers. The federal government, more importantly the state government, Taib said, should be actively involved in developing a robust skilled workforce. “That said, the private sector should not take things easy. The government has got to step in and strengthen partnership with the private sector and industry players like Shell, Petronas and other big firms in Sarawak to ensure an appropriate training programme in technical and skills areas,” he said. He expressed confidence that CTE will be able to embark on a more important and bigger role to hasten the production of technical workers. “I am sure the young people are going to respond better compared to before because it will lead to a more settled and rewarding career path,” he added. With the leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, Taib hopes to see Sarawak develop into an industrial state. The event also witnessed the exchange of Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between CTE and Yayasan Sarawak and seven other industry partners namely Petronas, Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), Sarawak Energy Berhad, Shell Sarawak, Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corporation, Press Metal Sarawak and Sacofa. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu, state secretary Tan Sri Datuk Amar Morshidi Ghani and Yayasan Sarawak director Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki were also present. (Text excerpted from The Borneo Post)
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