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Ex-Con can fill labour shortage

FMM In The News: NEW STRAITS TIMES, KUALA LUMPUR, Friday, March 25, 2022 - Employers and industries are on board with the idea of using parolees in employment programmes to offset the shortage of foreign workers.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said addressing the shortage of manpower was critical for economic growth and in maintaining the country's export competitiveness, which was key to economic recovery and boosting investors' confidence.  

He said FMM had been engaging with the Prisons Department on providing jobs for its inmates.  

"We are also exploring collaborations with the Human Resources Development Corporation regarding its programmes for inmates' training and placement," he said when contacted.  

He added that the industry had no second thoughts about tapping into this source of manpower, provided that the Human Resources Ministry had given the clearance on hiring inmates who had been granted parole and complied with all provisions of domestic labour legislation, as well as international labour standards.  

"We look forward to having further engagements with relevant authorities to get information on the terms and conditions involved to recruit parolees.  

"Specific guidelines are required by employers to ensure compliance with all the related laws."  

Malaysian Employers Federation president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman said not all job vacancies could be filled by paroled inmates, as it would depend on their skills and ability to acquire skills quickly.  

He said the government must look at broader market areas and not merely positions left vacant by foreign workers.  

"They are our citizens too. So, we shouldn't limit them to replacing foreign workers.  

"These people (paroled inmates) can become an additional labour resource for our country."  

He said the government should get industry involvement early while the inmates were still serving their terms.  

By doing so, Syed Hussain said, the industry could bring in the skills and early training for the inmates.  

Malaysian Association of Hotels chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng said hoteliers were ready to accept those willing to do the job and fulfil basic requirements.  

He said the hotel industry, however, had to understand the mechanism and the details of the programme first.  

As employers, he said, the hoteliers would not discriminate against anyone who adhered to rules, regulations and policies.

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