Gov’t explores flexi plantation jobs to attract youth workforce

THE Human Resources Ministry is considering the introduction of flexible job opportunities tailored to attract the younger generation in a bid to address the persistent labour shortage in the country’s plantation sector.

Human Resources deputy minister Datuk Mustapha Sakmud revealed this initiative, emphasising the challenges faced in hiring local workers for the physically demanding ‘3D’ (dirty, dangerous, difficult) jobs, particularly in the plantation sector.

Mustapha highlighted the declining interest among younger Malaysians in plantation jobs, which has resulted in a heavy reliance on foreign labour.

To tackle this issue, various proposals are under consideration, according to him.

“There were several suggestions (on how to address the problem). For one, it was suggested that we introduce a syllabus so plantation jobs can be certified like SKM (Malaysian Skills Certificate),” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

“There was also a suggestion that we introduce jobs with flexible hours to the younger generation.

“It might be boring for them if they have to work full time at plantations. So, it was suggested that we implement the method similar to the oil and gas sector where workers only go to work for two weeks or so,” he added.

Moreover, the announcement came in response to a query raised by Maran MP Ismail Abd Muttalib during the Dewan Rakyat session, questioning the government’s efforts to stimulate interest in the 3D sector among Malaysians.

Ismail pointed out that despite numerous facilities and initiatives introduced by the unity government, local interest in plantation jobs has remained elusive.

Furthermore, Mustapha disclosed that multiple ministries, including the Human Resources Ministry are diligently studying these proposals.

The aim is to comprehensively understand the preferences and inclinations of the younger generation, paving the way for innovative solutions to bridge the labour gap and invigorate the plantation sector. – Oct 25, 2023


Main photo credit: Facebook

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