PETALING JAYA: Issues like vocational training, youth unemployment and Industrial Revolution 4.0 must be in the vocabulary of the next Minister holding the Human Resources portfolio, says the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).
Its executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan (pic) said the new minister should be chosen based on credibility and professionalism, as well as be familiar with human resources development and labour issues.
“This includes the need to gradually reduce dependence on foreign workers and the development of the future workforce based on the IR 4.0 and the future of work, with a focus on productivity to enhance Malaysia’s overall competitiveness, ” he said when contacted on Tuesday (Mar 3).
The future human resources minister should be familiar with issues on TVET (technical and vocational education and training), as it was important for Malaysian workers to be adequately trained and the skills of all local employees be certified, he said.
“This is so that in the long run, Malaysia will be able to increase the percentage of skilled workers to be more than 50% of the workforce from the current 30%, ” he said.
"The new minister should also introduce measures to reduce the high unemployment rate among the youth, which is currently close to 11%, said Shamsuddin, adding that the problem is more acute for those with diplomas and degrees.
“The future human resources minister should also provide the leadership to encourage higher productivity growth in the private sector.
“There is a need to encourage both the employers and the employees to make a paradigm shift so that Malaysia’s productivity is at par with Singapore, ” said Shamsuddin.
Currently Singapore’s productivity per employee per year is more than 2.5 times that of Malaysian employees, he added.
The future minister should also ensure that Malaysia creates a more business-friendly environment so that the country would be able to retain and attract more local and foreign investors, said Shamsuddin.
“The appointment of ministers and deputies should be finalised as soon as possible without any further delay as the government machinery should be fully functional especially in the current situation of Covid-19 threat.
“They must have the credibility to be able to steer the country towards a robust economic growth and reduce the burden of the rakyat especially in terms of high increases in costs of goods and services, ” added Shamsuddin.
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