Efforts to meet industry demand for skilled grads underway, says Zambry

KUALA LUMPUR: Vice-chancellors at higher education institutions must assess industry demands and the labour market to ensure graduates are prepared for areas where there is a demand for more skilled workers, says Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.

The Higher Education Minister said the current lack of skilled workers was due to the mismatch in skills driven by changes in industry that are now more sophisticated following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“There is such a huge potential for investors to come to Malaysia, but our capacity (of electrical and electronics graduates) is limited to 5,000 (a year).

“Therefore, I have held a meeting with (Investment, Trade And Industry Minister) Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz and the vice-chancellors of universities in the country to plan a solution to the constraints.

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"That is why, in terms of numbers, there is demand in certain sectors as mentioned by Tengku Zafrul," he told reporters after a networking luncheon with the diplomatic missions in Malaysia on Monday (Feb 5).

His response came following Tengku Zafrul’s comment in a video posted on X on Feb 3 that the number of local graduates in the high-tech sector was insufficient to meet the demands of investors.

Zambry was at the luncheon to brief foreign diplomats about the Malaysian higher education landscape and his goals as the new Higher Education Minister.

The ministry, he said, aims to strengthen bilateral ties with foreign institutions, which can enhance Malaysia's higher education presence on a global scale.

“Over the past three years, there has been an average 6% increase in the number of international students in Malaysia, with a diverse representation from 167 countries around the world.

“Through strategic investments in infrastructure, faculty development and internationalisation initiatives, we aim to position Malaysia as a prominent destination for higher education, attracting students, scholars and researchers worldwide,” he said.

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