KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today proposed that the minimum wage for Malaysian skilled workers be set at RM3,500, an increase from the current RM1,200.
He said this was to match the minimum wage of migrant skilled workers in the country and to encourage more young Malaysians to take up technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
“We must raise the minimum wage of Malaysian skilled workers to at least match that offered to skilled workers from abroad,” he said to reporters after opening the inaugural TVET Expo at the Putra World Trade Centre here.
He also estimated that the minimum wage would rise to RM5,000 by 2030.
“Why must we recruit migrant skilled workers for RM3,500? To me, it’s very unfair. That is why I am offering myself to chair and to coordinate the TVET Malaysia Council because I would like to see the products of TVET Malaysia enjoy a higher minimum wage,” he said.
He added that many skilled migrant workers in the country were from China and Indonesia and were working in the construction sector.
Zahid also instructed the human resources ministry, which oversaw the TVET Malaysia programme, to prepare a memorandum for the cabinet on the establishment of the TVET Malaysia Council.
It should, among other things, coordinate the accreditation currently handled by various quarters under the Malaysian Qualifications Agency, he said.
Earlier in his speech, Zahid emphasised the importance of setting up a career development framework for TVET graduates, including opportunities to pursue higher education to give them the advantage of technical experience and the necessary professional qualifications.
He said this was in line with the government’s commitment to have skilled workers make up 43 per cent of the workforce by 2030.
“One of the indicators of a high-income developed nation is having skilled workers make up 43 per cent of the workforce. Currently, they only make up 28 per cent of the workforce.
“I am confident we can achieve that target earlier than 2030,” he said. – Bernama