Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Job seekers told to be careful

BINTULU: Local job seekers were yesterday advised to be more careful before accepting jobs offered particularly from agents or companies overseas.

Jepak assemblyman Datuk Talib Zulpilip said many cases received by the state Labour Department involved job seekers cheated by irresponsible agents from private job agencies.

Thus the Human Resource Ministry under Department of Labour Sarawak has set up Malaysian Overseas Workers Management Centres nationwide to help Malaysians get jobs overseas.

“For the record, as of Nov 6, 2009 about 349 Sarawakian workers have filed complaints on various mistreatment by employers,” Talib said in his speech when officiating at a two-day Job Placement programme at the civic centre yesterday.

His text of speech was read by Deputy Resident (Social Section) Ismawie Salleh.

Talib cited a recent case in Sibu, where 23 job seekers were cheated, as a lesson to others to be cautious when applying or accepting job offers from overseas companies.

The case investigated by Sibu Commercial Crime Unit revealed that the victims were desperate for jobs that pay around RM3,000 per month, he said.

“I advise job seekers not to fall prey to their sweet promises and be attracted by the high salary promised,” he said.

Talib, who is also Sarawak Economic Development Corporation chairman, noted that today’s working environment has changed, and is not only based on physical strength but on knowledge of ICT.

“Competent job seekers must be capable of marketing themselves if they wish to get good jobs,” he said, adding that ability to promote their skills in the job market is vital.

On another issue, he said foreign workers in the country could bring negative impact.

Statistics issued by the Department of Labour Sarawak showed that as of Oct 31, 2009 there were about 93,462 foreign workers in the state.

Out of that 90,143 or 96.4 per cent are Indonesian employees, China (1,683) and Philippines (737) people, Talib said, adding that the highest sector employing foreigners is the estate sector with 57,245 workers followed by manufacturing with 30,133 foreigners.

He said employers have to comply with the provisions of the labour laws in the state.

Under Section 119 Labour Ordinance (Sarawak chapter 76) employers must apply for a licence from the Department of Labour Sarawak before employing foreign workers.

Some employers felt locals were not competent or committed compared to foreign workers, so he hoped they change their perception and not be overly dependent on foreign workers.

“Employers have to consider giving reasonable salary based on skills and knowledge of workers,” said Talib.

Some 22 private and government agencies took part in the job placement programme held at the civic centre yesterday which will end today (Nov 22).

Local job seekers are encouraged to register with JobsMalaysia online.

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