Employees in Malaysia urged to focus on reskilling and upskilling

The Malaysian Employers Federation has encouraged employees to upgrade their skills as more firms embrace new technologies in the workplace.
By: | October 2, 2023

As Malaysia continues to grapple with stagnating wages, upskilling and reskilling of employees remains a priority as organisations embrace change, including digitalising their daily operations.

Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan, Executive Director, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), said, “This includes the implementation of artificial intelligence, mechanisation and automation to enhance productivity and competitiveness.”

A significant hurdle still remains in achieving the desired percentage of employees with Malaysian Skills Certificate (SKM) Level 4, currently hovering at 28 to 29%, he said. “The target is set at 40 to 50% by 2025, a goal viewed by many as challenging to attain. However, the adoption of digitalisation emerges as a pivotal solution.”

There is a growing concern about the rising cost of doing business, exacerbated by the current gross domestic product landscape, said Shamsuddin. Despite increasing wages being a topic of discussion, implementing it was challenging for many businesses.

READ MORE: Employers in Malaysia seek guidelines for wage policy implementation 

He said many businesses still relied on external financing, where the burden of higher interest rates or extended loan repayments pose a challenge. “This is where the government should come in strong and assist businesses,” Shamsuddin said. “For example, mitigating the impact of higher loan interest rates.”

Micro, small, and medium enterprises, in particular, would benefit from government assistance as they often lacked the financial resources to adopt advanced technologies. “They make up more than 90% of businesses in Malaysia, so to overlook their needs is unfair.” Shamsuddin explained, reported New Straits Times.