KUALA LUMPUR: The lack of highly trained workers is very scary as the country prepares for the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), said Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran.
He said there were only 28% highly trained workers in the country after 61 years of independence and this was not a very good sign.
“The government has set a target of 35% of workers to be trained to meet the demands of IR 4.0 under the 11th Malaysia Plan but for this target to be achieved all stake holders must play their role,“ he said during his visit to Singapore last week.
He said he found that about 54% of their workforce was highly skilled and this was the same in the Western world.
Kulasegaran said employers must take advantage of the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) to help upskill their workers to meet future needs.
“Many employers although very good contributors to HRDF are afraid of sending their workers for upskilling or training simply because they are afraid they may lose the workers after they have completed his training,“ Kulasegaran said after launching the B49 Capacity Building Scheme today.
He said employers are also afraid their workers will start looking for higher salaries once they complete their training.
He said things such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain are playing a bigger role in the work place and therefore employees and employers must be prepared to meet such challenges.
Kulasegaran said once workers have improved their skills they will enjoy higher salary while employers will get highly skilled workers which will be beneficial to both sides.
On the capacity building scheme, he said it was aimed to arm the participants with specific skills and knowledge to help them secure employment, gain promotion or get a better salary.
He said the goal of the scheme, to be officially implemented next month, was to improve the B40 group’s economic well-being.
He said before the scheme is fully implemented HRDF and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health will run several pilot projects.