Datuk Jaul Sameon

KUCHING: The state government is looking at automation and re-skilling as options to fill the void left by foreign workers in the construction sector.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak needed more than 5,000 skilled workers in the construction sector.

“A committee formed under Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion will look into the matter and maybe we can re-skill our local workers.

“This will upgrade their skills for them to be involved in the construction sector. The other option is certain jobs can be automated using robotics and we may need to apply technology in the sector,” he said at a press conference here today.

On automation, Abang Johari said the state government would be able to procure the needed machines to automate the tasks done by the foreign workers.

“For re-skilling, we need to have programmes for that; I have asked the committee to look into it and we can train the people in this sector,” he said.

The chief minister said while the economy was moving well, the lack of workers in the sector needed to be addressed.

“5,000 is a huge number – this means that there are about 5,000 jobs available. This needs to be looked into,” he said.