PETALING JAYA: The government, employers and employees should make every effort to help the economy recover from the impact of Covid-19.
According to economist Prof Dr Barjoyai Bardai, the government should embark on a campaign to reskill and retrain the workforce as business leaders reinvent their enterprises to meet future needs while workers prepare to learn new trades that will help them land jobs.
Barjoyai, from Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, said according to earlier predictions, about 60% of jobs would likely be lost as the country moved towards Industrial Revolution 4.0.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the rate of unemployment,” he told theSun yesterday.
However, he also sees opportunities in this time of crisis. The current environment has set the stage to prepare the workforce (for the future), he said.
“The objective is not only to bring those made redundant back into the workforce. Some could go into self-employment as independent contractors,” Barjoyai added.
“It is a gargantuan task ahead for the government. A big push is needed but we have the resources, such as the Human Resources Development Fund, that can help make it happen.”
Barjoyai said some industries would need to be transformed to make them relevant for the future.
He said sectors, such as the hotel and aviation industries, would see a demise unless they reinvent.
“Micro-businesses, such as sundry shops and roadsides stalls are also facing huge setbacks.”
Asli Centre for Public Policy chairman Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam agreed with the economist.
“Once the shock of the pandemic recedes, people will realise they need to innovate and find where opportunities lie,” he said.
“To support this, we need a freer business environment where there are not too many rules and regulations.”
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