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Construction industry needs new approach to reduce foreign workers dependency

BUTTERWORTH (Nov 3): The construction industry in Malaysia must find a new approach to reduce dependency on foreign workers following the economic growth in their countries of origin.

Peninsular Malaysia Labour Department director-general Datuk Sheikh Yahya Sheikh Mohamed said as the foreign workers would have a choice to work in the own country, Malaysia's construction industry would be deluged with problems.

"The construction industry is now in a non-comfort zone as there are positive economic growth in foreign labour countries like Indonesia.

"This is the future challenge for the local industry because the foreign workers will definitely choose to work in their own country, not only because they will earn almost the same salary, but will also be closer to their families," he told reporters after opening the Meet the Clients Day organised by the Construction Labour Exchange Centre Berhad (CLAB) here on Thursday.

Present were CLAB chief executive officer Azlan Mohd Isa and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) chairman Datuk Hamzah Hasan.

Sheikh Yahya said he was also confident that if the employers were to consider giving a more suitable salary, they would be able to lure local people to work in the industry.

"There are many local people who are unemployed and I believed that if they were to be offered a job with suitable salary, they can be lured into the industry," he said.

Meanwhile, Hamzah said the Industrialised Building System (IBS) implemented by the CIDB was proven effective in reducing dependency on foreign workers.

He said CIDB's transformation through the IBS, a pre-fabrication construction method, to complete a project was capable to ensure high level quality construction.

"With IBS, pre-fabricated components from factory will be transported directly to the site and hence, reduce the use of workers to complete the construction work," he said, adding that the system would also avoid wastage and speed up the construction process. — Bernama

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