M'sian workforce needs extra edge to be a cut above, says PM

PUTRAJAYA: While foreign investors are satisfied with the level of professionalism and work ethics of the Malaysian workforce, they observe a lack of additional expertise or niche skills among them, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

Saying that this must change, the Prime Minister described it as a challenge which must be addressed so that the local workforce would not only have the right talent, but also the additional skills required to meet the needs of industries.

"If you ask these companies, they will say our workers have the right qualifications and work discipline. But what is lacking is that extra edge or knowledge that will make them a better worker and higher wage earner.

"So, the way forward is to ensure that we train our workers so they will have those extra skills, knowledge and sophistication," he said at the launch of the Digital Economy Centre (PEDi) Conference on Wednesday (Nov 29).

Besides Internet access, PEDi, under the supervision of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), also provides guidance and training to help local entrepreneurs use digital platforms in their business operations.

Anwar said with local workforce having additional skills and knowledge, it would further attract investors to the country.

He said telecommunications companies should also play their part by providing skill enhancement courses, including through TVET as well as PEDi.

"This is the outcome that I want from the conference, which is the commitment from telcos to boost the expertise and specialisation of our workforce," he added.

Anwar also touched on the importance of narrowing the digital divide between the wealthy and the poor as well as those in urban and rural areas.

This, he said, was important so that those with less opportunities would have a chance to improve their lives.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil praised the MCMC and its partners for their success in digitalising 7,000 entrepreneurs through an ecommerce platform, recording sales value of RM15.7mil.

Since the entrepreneur digitalisation initiative started in 2021, a total of RM55.4mil sales had been achieved, he added.

"Budget 2024 saw the government allocating RM25mil and the target is for all state constituencies to have such a centre. We hope this will translate to better income generation and job opportunities for the people," said Fahmi.

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