Malaysia urged to create more high-skilled jobs

High-skilled jobs in the country remains at a low proportion, compared to other advanced economies such as Singapore.
By: | January 6, 2022

Malaysia needs to create more high-skilled jobs if it wants to stop the country’s potential economic growth from slowing down further, said Lee Heng Guie, executive director of Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC), a non-profit think tank under the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM).

He added that compared to neighbouring Singapore and other advanced economies, Malaysia has a “very low share” of high-skilled jobs. According to Lee, as of the second quarter of 2021, the share of high-skilled jobs for Malaysia stands at only 24.7%, while 62% are semi-skilled and 13.1% are low skilled.

This pales in comparison to other countries, where high-skilled job percentages over the total labour force registers close to 60%, Lee said. “In the case of Singapore, the share is about 54.7%, Switzerland 51.3%, and the United States 42.2%. That’s a long way to go for us to increase the percentage of a skilled workforce.”

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Last September, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, Malaysia’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister, said that for Malaysia to compete on the global stage, at least 45% of the country’s workforce needs to be highly skilled.

The minister added that this is especially pertinent as new and emerging technologies require highly skilled workers which are in demand.