PUTRAJAYA, Dec 12 – Youths are encouraged to take up jobs in the plantation and commodity sector, which is facing a shortage of more than 54,000 workers, by equipping themselves with specific skills and semi-skills needed.
Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong (pix) said as, at Sept 30, the number of workers involved in the oil palm, rubber and furniture sectors was 207,000 local workers and 331,000 foreign workers.
“The plantation and commodity sector needs a knowledgeable and skilled local workforce to enhance productivity and continue the sustainability of national commodity performance,” he told reporters after officiating the Institute of Malaysian Plantation and Commodities (Impac) certificates presentation ceremony here today
Mah said so far, Impac had trained 53,111 participants through training centres under six agencies and expected to train 78,000 youths by 2020 in order to provide skilled and semi-skilled manpower for the oil palm and furniture sectors.
“In order to improve productivity in the commodity sector, it is important for the industry to shift to the use of mechanisation to reduce dependency on labour,” he said, adding that for example, he said the use of an oil palm motorised cutter to harvest fruit bunches was equivalent to five human harvesters.
“In line with the government’s aspiration, the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) offers a 20% discount on the purchase of machines and machinery for oil palm plantations,” he said.
Mah announced that Impac has been appointed the Industry Leadership Board (ILB) for the plantation and commodity sector by the Department of Skills Development, Ministry of Human Resource.
“This appointment recognises and strengthens Impac as a local centre for coordinating, regulating and planning activities conducted on all courses and training in the plantation and commodity sector according to the National Occupational Skills Standard,” he said. — Bernama