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Malaysians are optimistic about automation but fear their jobs may be at stake

02 Jul 2020 / 14:16 H.

THERE is much talk of digitalisation and how one has to arm themselves with digital knowledge and know-how to be relevant with the changing times. According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), change in the job scene is unavoidable and is here to stay.

Its ‘Digital Resilience in a New World’ report revealed that 70% of Malaysians believe that technology will change their current jobs in the next three to five years.

A total of 77% of respondents to its survey also stated that they are excited and optimistic about the role technology can play in their jobs and hope it will provide for more interesting work and enable them to get more done.

The findings were encouraging considering the survey was conducted against the backdrop of Covid-19, which has made organisations rethink how people work and how they can plug the skills gap with an increasingly mobile workforce.

However, 34% of respondents fear that automation will put their jobs at risk. It was still encouraging though to note that 49% of respondents believed the onus for upskilling rests with the individuals themselves while 93% said that they would accept the opportunity to use technology or improve their digital understanding if given the chance.

85% of survey respondents said they would learn new skills or completely retrain as a means to improve their future employability while 53% of respondents said they would like to become more proficient at learning and adapting to new technologies.

“As Malaysia recovers from Covid-19, organisations will find that protecting jobs may be tough, but necessary to keep the economy moving in the new normal. This starts by having an inclusive skills strategy that considers the needs of those with less opportunities for advancement, identifying where skills gaps and mismatches may be present, and aligning these priorities with the business strategy,” said PwC Malaysia Markets leader Nurul A’in Abdul Latif.

“At such a time as this, organisations would do well to address their employees’ learning needs by investing in strategic upskilling programmes, and empowering their employees to take charge of their own learning through the use of self-learning tools.

“A supportive organisational culture that promotes effective learning is critical in bringing out the best in employees.,” she said.

[The survey by PwC Malaysia was conducted among the Malaysian public from 20 April 2020 - 22 May 2020. 986 participants responded to the survey.]

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