FOR Malaysia to become a high-income country, human capital development must continue to be a key priority says TalentCorp Malaysia.
Presently, various government ministries are helping to bridge existing skills gaps in the labour market with interventions and initiatives, a TalentCorp spokesperson said in an email interview with Sunday Star. TalentCorp is the national agency driving Malaysia's talent strategy under the aegis of the Human Resources Ministry.
These steps include reforming the labour market and prioritising skilled job creation, improving labour efficiency and productivity by strengthening workers’ rights, enhancing access to quality education, and training and fostering stronger industry-academia links.
“The skills shortage faced by Malaysian employers is not in terms of numbers, but a mismatch is evident.
“Based on a survey conducted by Khazanah Research Institute 1 (KRI), this mismatch could be linked to the importance placed by employers on soft skills and work experience, in contrast to the academic and professional qualifications that are emphasised by Malaysian education and training institutions, ” the spokesperson said.
“KRI also observed that although employers have key roles to play in improving graduate employability, almost three-quarters of the 1,620 companies surveyed nationwide did not have training budgets, nor did they actively participate in employability training programmes for youth.”
TalentCorp will facilitate greater employer involvement in training and producing high-quality graduates through initiatives such as structured internship programmes, enhancing industry-academia collaborations, and its STAR (Scholarship Talent Attraction and Retention) Programme.
These initiatives are in addition to national measures such as the Graduate Enhancement Programme for Employability (Generate 2.0) under the Human Resources Development Fund to help unemployed graduates develop skills through training in high-impact fields.
According to TalentCorp, there are 23 occupations that have appeared on every round of the Critical Occupations List since it first came out in 2015. These include Information and Communications Technology managers, mathematicians, systems analysts, electrical and electronic engineers, actuaries and statisticians.
“Further evaluation may be needed of these occupations as they may be a priority for policymakers, ” the spokesperson said.