THE Penang government is working hard to address talent shortage in the state.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said Penang is not the only state that is affected by the issue.
“The same situation is also happening in other states and countries,” Chow said.
He said among the initiatives taken by the Penang government to solve the matter is a close collaboration with captains of the industry to find the best solution.
“It is not the sole responsibility of the state government alone to solve this issue. And that is why close collaboration with the industry is very important.
“If we cannot find a way to solve it, (potential) investors may have a second thought before they decide to invest in the state.
“Therefore, it is crucial for the Penang government and industry to work together.
“We have announced several initiatives such as internship programmes to showcase job opportunities in Penang.
“We also have programmes to inculcate a passion for STEM subjects among the students,” Chow told the Swiss Ambassador to Malaysia Andrea Reichlin during the latter’s courtesy visit to Komtar today.
Chow added that the state government also encouraged the companies in Penang to nurture their existing talent within the company through reskilling and upskilling programmes.
“This can enable the companies to develop the skills needed to remain competitive and retain their talent pool from moving into other job opportunities.
“This will also reduce our dependency on foreign labours and open up more opportunities for local workforces to be able to take high-skill jobs and get a better pay as well,” he said.
Andrea expressed the interest of the Switzerland government to strengthen ties and cooperation between Switzerland and Penang in various sectors such as tourism, business, and investment.
The 30-minute meeting also touched on several topics which include federal-state relations, industrial land, trade war and the political situation in the country.
Both Chow and Andrea also exchanged mementos at the end of the fruitful meeting.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar