In a report by Bernama, Yayasan Melaka International College chief executive Datuk Saroni Judi has said that “at least 45% of the total workforce need to be skilled workers by 2030” to realise Malaysia’s goal as a developed high income nation. Previously, Malaysia aimed to hit the target of 35% skilled workforce by 2020.
Datuk Saroni also commented that the skilled workforce needed to be upgraded with continuous training to be more competitive in employment and to command higher earnings. He said: “Efforts in empowering TVET (technical and vocational education and training) have resulted in TVET gaining more recognition in the world for its role in the economic development of the country.”
“Malaysia has almost 28% skilled workers and targets to raise it to 35% by 2020, while a developed nation like Switzerland has almost 50% skilled manpower,” he added.
On that note, Datuk Saroni said investment in education was important to contribute to the wellbeing of the people inclusively. In the report, he added that the government had allocated RM50 million in human resource development programmes to create competitive workers at global level.
Apart from that, the government was also committed to ensure TVET was implemented effectively by recognising the field as the third thrust in the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP), Datuk Saroni concluded.
Speaking exclusively to Human Resources on this matter, professor Sattar Bawany, CMEC, chief executive officer, CEE Global commented: "In any event, an insurmountable challenge that could be resolved if this vision is being shared equally not only by the government but also the industry (employers) and the workforce."
He added that all three parties must embark on a concerted effort and relentless pursuit to achieve the goal. For example, "the government (prime minister department and ministry of human resources) to provide the infrastructure, financial resources such as grants (though HRDF or other institutions)."
Not only that professor Bawany also highlighted that industry players and employers (represented by organisations such as MEF) needs to incorporate forward-thinking human resource and learning strategies in their business plan and corporate strategies that would equip their employees with critical skills that are required for the future.
On that note, he also hopes "for relevant industry to leverage in AI and robotics in the highly disruptive and volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) workplace and business environments."
Meanwhile, he added that the workforce need to develop relevant and critical skills as workplace change accelerates and the need for transformational thinking comes to the fore. He said: "They would need the leaders and employees to be aware, ready, agile, flexible and capable to lead, manage and engage the workforce of the future."
"It is also important to remember the need to ensure that real productivity growth continues to improve and not lag behind wage growth as the nation moved towards achieving the goal of a highly skilled workforce by 2030," professor Bawany concluded.
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