Foreign labour to continue

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 September, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 September, 1998, 12:00am

The supplementary labour importation scheme will continue despite rising unemployment, Commissioner for Labour Jacqueline Willis said yesterday.

Speaking before the Taskforce on Unemployment meeting, Ms Willis said job mismatching was still serious and many retrained graduates refused to enter the field they were trained in.

Employers applied for importation of labour when they had no other choice.

The Labour Department had proposed the Labour Advisory Board approve 82 applications this month. Fifty-three applications for July had already been approved.

'I hope the issue would not be made emotional. When an employer makes an application, the Labour Department has to process it.

'The unemployment trend is on the rise, and we will screen each application more carefully to see if an importation is justified. In fact, in most cases, we advised the application not to be granted,' Ms Willis said.

Labour representatives at the advisory board had vowed to veto all applications starting from July. None was available for comment last night.