Mohamed Azmin, who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, said areas which need trained workers include automation, logistics, chemical and wastewater treatment, and printing technology.
"It will take some time as all this while we have been focusing on labour-intensive industries, so much so that we have had to bring in foreign workers whether registered or not, and this has created problems.
"But we have learned from Covid-19 that we need new technologies such as robotics and automation, and this matter will definitely be given emphasis in the effort to create a skilled workforce,” he said at a media conference after launching Azmida Technical College here today.
Mohamed Azmin said Malaysia can attract foreign investors especially Japanese companies which recently decided to shift their production out of China amid the US-China trade war.
"In my view, these investors are ready to relocate their operations, but Malaysia also needs to be prepared with a trained workforce.
"We can offer many things like good infrastructure and a trained workforce, which can create more value to local participation,” he said.
He noted that the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) is working hard to place graduates from skills training centres and technical and vocational colleges to meet industry demand.
"We have identified 105 companies in 16 sectors where 1,185 skilled workers are needed,” he said.
At the launch, Mohamed Azmin said the Malaysian Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) will allocate RM2 million to sponsor 100 students from Azmida Technical College. - Bernama