BATU GAJAH: Malaysia needs more than 200,000 engineers by 2010 to develop the country in various engineering fields. However, at the start of the new millennium there were only about 64,000 engineers, said National Economic Action Council special adviser Datuk Rahmah Abu Kassim.
She said the National Vision Policy 2000-2010, which formed the Third Outline Perspective Plan towards making Malaysia a developed nation by 2020, showed there was a considerable shortage of chemical engineers.
Speaking here on Monday, she said that while the country needed 29,000 chemical engineers by 2010, the records for 2000 showed there were only about 2,900.
There is also a demand for 64,000 electrical and electronics engineers (compared to 19,000 available now), 33,000 civil engineers (18,000) and 45,000 mechanical engineers (14,000).
In information technology (IT), there will be positions for 37,000 system and hardware engineers, 26,600 software developers and 71,000 business and system analysts by 2010.
Earlier, when opening the Third Technology, Economy and Career Week of the Universiti Technology Petronas at Tronoh, about 25km from here, Rahmah said about 70,000 fresh graduates from local universities have joined the list of job seekers this year.
Their chances of getting jobs would be reduced if the world economy worsened from the impact of the war in Iraq with spill over effects in Malaysia.
Advising students to develop soft skills before they graduate and look for jobs, she said these skills could be better acquired if they were proficient in English, able to communicate well and be analytical.
Paper qualification alone will not guarantee jobs. Nowadays, employers look for the most knowledgeable and all-rounded graduates, she said.