PUTRAJAYA: The Human Resources Ministry is urging employers to employ ex-convicts as a means of tackling the country’s labour shortage.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said this would give them hope that they would be able to lead normal lives upon their release from prison.

He said several ministries, including the Youth and Sports Ministry, had started offering initiatives to employers who took in former convicts.

“We hope employers will give this group a chance. This is something which needs to be taken into account as the country’s unemployment rate stands at 3.3 per cent.

“The country still needs workers and I believe that any ex-convict should be helped by giving them jobs,” he said after launching the national-level World Occupational Safety and Health Day 2019 in Dataran Putrajaya today.

Previously, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying that he would be employing three ex-convicts to work in his office.

Kulasegaran said his ministry would also prepare technical and vocational education and training (TVET) for former convicts.

The minister had earlier flagged off almost 10,000 participants in the Labour Day Run & Ride 2019 which was held in conjunction with Labour Day.

Kulasegaran also took part in a 2.5-km walk with his deputy, Datuk Mahfuz Omar, and senior ministry officials.

Meanwhile, Social Security Organisation chief executive officer Datuk Seri Dr Mohammed Azman Aziz Mohammed said the annual event was held to promote a healthy lifestyle among the workforce.

“As the country heads towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it will need a productive, active and healthy workforce,” he said.

“We want workers to prioritise safety and health in the workplace.” — Bernama