PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is facing a huge challenge. There is a strong demand for a digital workforce but the skills of the current talent pool is not up to mark.
The is a growing need for digital skills among workers despite a comparative shortfall of supply as the digitalisation wave sweeps Malaysia.
This was highlighted in the Malaysia 2019 Salary Guide by Kelly Services. It said a key challenge for companies lies in identifying and hiring talents with hybrid skills, or in providing opportunities for existing employees to learn via upskilling or re-skilling.
Kelly Services Malaysia managing director and country head Brian Sim said digital competency is a core component of many jobs today.
“As more and more businesses embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution and digitally transform their businesses, a growing skill gap can be seen in the Malaysian talent pool.
“This issue is being addressed by both the Malaysian government as well as organisations through various policies and initiatives, but workers must also take the initiative to upskill themselves to remain competitive in this evolving employment landscape,” he said in a statement.Engineering and information technology are the key sectors that are expected to grow this year despite the challenging economic climate.
The report stated that demand for soft skills in jobs that are already within the technological sphere are also seeing a rise in demand and are highly sought after in the engineering and IT sectors.
“Graduate employability has also become a concern for Malaysia. Employers recognise the concerns on graduates’ skills gap, such as the lack of industrial training experience and communication skills. “Declining standards may further exacerbate this by creating talent pool deficits. At the same time, Malaysia’s brain drain is large and growing, with neighbouring countries offering enticing opportunities to Malaysia’s skilled talent,” it said, adding that the country needs to grow a sustainable pool of highly skilled talents as it presses on towards achieving a high-income status.
The report also pointed out that banking and shared services sectors have been seeing slower growth since the general election in May last year.
Meanwhile, positions like Systems Applications and Products team leads and information security managers will likely see a rise in demand this year and they are also among the highest paid, with a minimum of RM17,000 and RM12,000 respectively.
Head of production and project managers are the top jobs for the engineering sector, with a minimum pay of RM18,000 and RM10,000 respectively.
The banking and financial services sector sees a challenging year ahead but there is a continued trend for job creation for high skilled jobs such as financial analysts.
A large gap also remains to be filled to have 60,000 accountants by 2020. The current figure is only about 40,000.
The report also indicated that human resources professionals will continue to play an important role in the growth of businesses.