WITHOUT a skilled workforce of adequate scale, Malaysia risks spiralling towards mediocrity as a nation, said the NEAC.
The pivotal need was a radical revamp of the current education system, ranging from the primary to the tertiary levels, and requiring improvements at each level. However, attempted fixes had failed to yield the desired results, said the NEAC, adding that in this instance, the Government has shown that it does not know best.
The report summarised policy measures for intensifying human capital development into two categories: workplace transformation and workforce transformation.
Under workplace transformation, the policy measures included setting up an expert group to modernise and align labour legislation and regulation consistent with international best practice; enhancing worker safety through the introduction of unemployment insurance; establishing a national wage consultative council; facilitating a productivity-linked wage system; and considering a minimum wage policy.
Under the workforce transformation, the policy measures included undertaking a labour market forecast and survey programme; upskilling and upgrading the workforce; and leveraging women's talents to raise productivity.
The NEM proposed a strategic, comprehensive revision of labour legislation with the purpose of reducing the costs of business of managing workforce-related issues while ensuring effective worker protection.
The report said the Government should urgently commission a group of legal and operational experts tasked with modernising, consolidating, amending and or rescinding Malaysian labour laws and adopting global best practices.
It further said the work of the experts should be facilitated by the Human Resource Ministry. The Commission of Experts should be in place by end 2010 and submit its recommendations to target implementation by end 2011.
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