Budget 2021: Training fund for retrenched workers due to Covid-19 needed

27 Oct 2020 / 16:21 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has been urged to allocate some funds in the upcoming Budget 2021 that can be utilised for training and reskilling activities, especially for workers who were retrenched following the Covid-19 pandemic, an academician said.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s senior professor of economics and business faculty Datuk Shazali Abu Mansor said the laid-off workers, mostly from the badly affected industries such as tourism, hospitality and aviation, faced difficulty in finding new jobs.

He said as new jobs were hard to get due to the slow-paced recovery in the corporate world coupled with limited expertise, the-now-jobless workers need immediate support from the government.

“Those retrenched should be helped regardless of whichever company they were from.

“Just imagine, what can retrenched flight attendants and pilots really do? Their expertise are in the airline industry.

“The government must help. Retrain them and give some allowances during the training. I believe there must be companies willing to hire them subsequently,” he told Bernama.

Budget 2021 is scheduled to be tabled in Parliament on Nov 6.

The Covid-19 pandemic’s adverse effects on the aviation industry have seen many airlines resorting to undertake massive cost-cutting measures, including layoffs.

Low-cost airline AirAsia had in early June reduced more than 250 of its staff.

On Oct 9, the airline confirmed another 10 per cent retrenchment of its 24,000-strong workforce to ensure its survival.

Meanwhile, hybrid full-service carrier Malindo Airways was reported to have cut about 2,200 jobs (more than half of its 3,200-strong workforce) and reduce its fleet size to 11 airplanes.

As for Malaysia Airlines Bhd and Firefly, their parent company Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) had on Oct 22 offered an early retirement scheme to employees with gratuity payment of up to three months salary.

The MAG Early Retirement Application scheme is targeted at Malaysia-based employees aged 45 and above who have served the company continuously for a minimum of 10 years, including years of service in the Malaysia Airlines group. -Bernama

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