Guide book on wages expected to be out soon, says minister

KUCHING: The ‘Wages Guide Book’, which can serve as a reference source for job-seekers, workers and employers, should be made available to the public soon.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot said his ministry was now in the final stage of the publication process, adding 160 professions would be featured as the foundation for this guide book. There would be more professions to be added in future publications, he hinted.

“The objective of preparing this ‘Wages Guide Book’ is to put value to the skills of the job-seekers or workers, to act as a guide in determining initial basic salary in accordance with the person’s position and skills, and also as a benchmark for collective agreements and service contract negotiations,” Riot, who is also Serian MP, said in his remarks at the 12th convocation for training institutes in Sarawak Zone under the Labour Department at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) yesterday.

The ceremony marked the graduation of 345 trainees – 66 from diploma course and 279 from certificate courses – who completed their programmes at industrial training institutes (ILPs) in Kota Samarahan and Miri, as well as the Advanced Technology Training Centre (ADTEC) in Bintulu.

For the record, these training institutes under Labour Department have produced 8,178 skills-trained individuals in Sarawak since 2002.

Riot said these youths had made the right choice in pursuing skills training, and he further encouraged the certificate holders to upgrade to diploma level and then pursue degree programmes.

“Currently, the skilled workforce comprises just 27.1 per cent of the country’s total workforce. This is not enough for the country to achieve its highly developed nation status, which needs 40 per cent of its workforce to consist of skilled manpower with at least diploma-level qualification.

“Therefore, the steps needed to be taken to increase skilled manpower include encouraging youths to enrol at the 32 ILPs nationwide, including the eight ADTECs which offer diploma courses. The government has also approved for the setup of another ILP in Serian parliamentary constituency.

“We hope that these initiatives can increase the percentage of skilled manpower to (comprise) at least 35 per cent of the nation’s total workforce by 2020,” he said.

Riot also pointed out that the need for more skilled manpower had been emphasised under the 11th Malaysian Plan (11MP), where 60 per cent of the 1.5 million new jobs to be created under 11MP would require persons with technical, vocational education and training (TVET).

He said even in Sarawak, the industries in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) should be creating 1.6 million new jobs by 2020.

He also assured Sarawakians that the government’s policy of prioritising 75 per cent of the jobs for the locals would remain as it is, although the country now has an estimated 3.6 million foreign workers – including 1.6 million who are legally documented.

Yesterday’s ceremony was also attended by Human Resources Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Adenan Ab Rahman, Labour Department director-general Datuk Chin Phaik Yoong, and Labour Department Learning Institutes (Eastern Region) chairman Mat Setia Mohd Raji.

The ‘Best Student’, ‘Alumni Best Achiever’ and ‘Exemplary Company’ awards were also handed out yesterday.