Bigger workforce needed for E&E sector

This human resource need is due to the reopening of economic activities and the expansion of business operations, says Wong 


RECRUITMENT in the electric and electronic (E&E) sector in the last three months has dropped 70% amid the urge for Malaysia to capitalise in the global semiconductor market. 

Malaysia Semiconductor Industry Association (MSIA) president and Technical Working Group on Employing Workers co-chairman Datuk Seri Wong Siew Hai said the industry and the country will lose opportunities of reviving the economy post-pandemic and generate income if these labour constraints are not addressed. 

“The industry needs at least 14,000 local and foreign workers, 2,400 engineers, 1,600 support staff, and 450 expatriates to meet the workforce needs of the E&E sector. 

“This human resource need is due to the reopening of economic activities and the expansion of business operations,” he said in a statement yesterday. 

Wong further suggested the establishment of an industrial campus to develop talent for production and rapid technology transfer as it could attract more local workers from outside the factory location and relocation-related issues can be reduced. 

“This proposed pilot initiative can be implemented in collaboration with MSIA members. Government intervention is also required as the industry needs facilitation in compliance with the regulations of the Immigration Department and the Department of Labour to facilitate the recruitment of foreign workers. 

“The recruitment rate of registered foreign workers to date is only 7.5% in comparison with the 15% target in the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025),” he said. 

Recently, the Special Task Force on Business Facilitation and the Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) conducted an engagement session with E&E industry players through MSIA to boost Malaysia’s ability to meet global E&E demand. 

MPC general director Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman said the need for the nation to seize the opportunity from the high global demand for E&E products is higher than ever, therefore production and manufacturing productivity should be enhanced to meet the needs and strengthen Malaysia’s global position as a major producer of E&E products. 

MPC noted the global semiconductor sector is expected to grow at a rate of 20% 

(US$527 billion [RM2.2 trillion]) in 2021 and by 10% in 2022 (US$573 billion), based on data from World Semiconductor Trade Statistics. 

“This dynamic development provides a good opportunity for Malaysia to increase its GDP as per its 2022 agenda towards economic recovery, due to the fact that the E&E sector contributes RM386 billion or 39.4% to the country’s total exports. 

“In the first six months of 2021, total E&E exports increased by 28% compared to last year and Malaysia is recognised as a major semiconductor producer in the global E&E chain with 7% of the world’s semiconductor trade flowing through Malaysia. 

“Thus, the country’s economic recovery initiatives in the E&E sector must be redoubled to ensure Malaysia’s strong position to meet global E&E demand,” Abdul Latif said in the same statement.