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Malaysian workforce positive about tech future

According to a recent news article, close to nine in 10 Malaysia-based workforces (89 per cent) are positive that digital technology presents them with new opportunities, according to a report by the Malaysian arm of a human resource consulting firm.

OpenGov Asia briefly covered this report earlier in February 2019. This report, however, will provide more details on the report and how it ties into Malaysia’s Industry 4.0 Policy.

The finding comes from the firm’s Workmonitor quarterly report, wherein researchers surveyed more than 400 employees and job seekers in Malaysia.

The report showed that employees and job seekers in Malaysia are aware that they need to upskill to take advantage of these opportunities that come with technological advancements and new innovations.

Close to nine in 10 respondents (89 per cent) said that they will need to acquire new skills if they want to work in a digital-led environment. 93 per cent are willing to personally acquire these skills to guarantee their employability.

The survey also found 69 per cent of the respondents said that their employer is investing in new technologies within the field of AI such as machine learning, robotics and automation.

More than eight in 10 respondents (81 per cent) agreed that these emerging technologies will have a positive impact on their job in the next five to 10 years. While 82 per cent think that their employers should provide them with adequate training to acquire new digital skills and increase productivity, only 63 per cent said that their employers are doing so.

In fact, 76 per cent are taking matters into their own hands, stating that they are investing in themselves to learn about AI.

In Malaysia, 80 per cent of survey respondents said that students are being taught and exposed to the right digital skills that will help prepare them for the future workforce.

The report is proof that Malaysia is well on its way to manifesting its Industry 4.0 goals, and that awareness of the need for digital skills is happening on the individual scale as well as the governmental.

Industry 4.0 transforms how products are designed, fabricated, used and operated as well as how they are maintained and serviced. New enabling technologies bring a new dimension to the industrial environment, resulting in a dramatic increase in industrial productivity.

The Malaysian Government seeks to help employees and job seekers by upskilling and reskilling existing and future labour pool need to be at the heart of Malaysia’s transformation.

The Government is, therefore, working to develop innovation capabilities and collaborative platforms that are essential to foster the development of, and access to, cost-effective technologies that address specific sector needs.

Malaysia aims to create the right ecosystem for Industry 4.0 to be adopted and align existing and future development initiative by ensuring:

  • Talent supply & skill levels
  • Collaborative platforms
  • Digital infrastructure
  • Funding support
  • Data availability & sharing, as well as,
  • Innovation capacity

Given its criticality, developing, upgrading and retaining the required talent and skills are at the centre of the Industry 4.0 Policy.

Industry 4.0 is fundamentally reshaping the jobs landscape and will foster significant changes in how industrial workers perform their jobs. Entirely new jobs with very different skill requirements will be created, while some tasks will become obsolete. The shifting employment landscape has significant implications for industry, education systems and the Government.

A qualified and skilled workforce is indispensable for the introduction and adoption of Industry 4.0. The technical knowledge required is high and will be primarily recruited from the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

There is an urgent need to create a skilled and diverse workforce, with a high salary, both by upskilling the existing labour pool and by attracting and developing future talent in the manufacturing sector. Particular attention also needs to be given to reskilling and upskilling lesser-skilled workers to other sectors and activities, enabling digital inclusion.

Thus, it is clear that the Government acknowledges the need for digital skills and has created a comprehensive framework through which these needs can be met. The Workmonitor report is proof that Malaysia’s efforts are paying off.


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