Budget 2022 and the JobStreet Business Springboard to create more business, employment opportunities for Malaysia
By Vic Sithasanan November 24, 2021
- Govt, business, workforce need to move in tandem to enhance competitiveness
- Higher TVET allocation shows recognition as critical change agent in 4IR era
The National Budget 2022 hit quite a number of right notes to ensure that Malaysia would be on a firm track to post -pandemic recovery.
It is highly encouraging that the bulk of the RM332.1 billion expenditure is going to education, talent development and health, and includes a substantial focus on expanding the safety net of society’s most vulnerable.
The emphasis on the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector – which will receive an increased allocation of RM6.6 billion under Budget 2022 – shows that the government recognises TVET as a critical change agent in meeting the demands brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR).
The 4IR is essentially about the rise of digital industrial technology: transforming processes for employees to work alongside machines in new, highly productive ways.
Since the 1800s, the world has experienced three industrial revolutions. Each was powered by a disruptive new technology: the mechanics of the steam engine, the innovation of the assembly line, and the speed of the computer. The reason they were called industrial revolutions was because the innovation that drove them did not just improve productivity and efficiency – it completely revolutionised how goods were produced and how work was done.
Through smart technologies, like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and cyber-physical systems, 4IR embraces smart, autonomous systems that use computer-based algorithms to monitor and control physical things like machinery, robots, and vehicles.
The 4IR has also resulted in fast disappearing traditional jobs while roles involving the ‘workforce of the future’ are fast emerging. And given the changing employment landscape, there is an urgent need for Malaysians to continuously upskill themselves with digital technologies, digital literacy, and transferable skills.
The 4IR is set to bring out significant outcomes through convergence of digital technologies and disruptions to businesses, citizens and governments. We must then navigate Malaysia to find its path to stay ahead of the curve and be a competitive nation with advanced communities contributing significantly to national and global agendas.
Hence, all the various components – government, businesses, and the workforce – need to move in tandem so that Malaysia can continue enhancing our competitiveness and emerge as a true ‘Digital Nation’.
Creating a national workforce of the future
Budget 2022 also outlined a clear approach to preparing the nation’s workforce for future work opportunities. This budget sets a target of training 220,000 people via various upskilling and reskilling programmes with the RM1.1 billion allocation.
At our end, JobStreet has launched several talent building initiatives to support talent development and job creation. We are also looking forward to deeper collaboration with the Malaysian Government to progressively build a ‘digital first’ workforce.
Recently, as part of the JobStreet Business Springboard, the ‘Jom Apply Kerja’ initiative was launched to empower blue-collar jobseekers to return to work and support employers in the F&B and retail sectors with their hiring needs.
This initiative follows on from our recent collaboration with the Human Resource Development Corporation (HRD Corp) to enable exclusive training incentives, to encourage companies to hire new talents. This collaboration is aimed at creating new job opportunities by helping companies manage total hiring and onboarding costs for business continuity.
Given that we envision a post-pandemic skills shortage to meet the accelerated demands of a digital enabled workforce; our vision is to build a sustainable digital nation. As a start, we will be launching Asia’s Biggest Tech Career Fair in 2022 – bridging emerging roles with digital talents across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and the Philippines.
Also, to help Malaysian employers benefit from available incentives, we recently launched the SME Incentive Helpdesk. Through the helpdesk, businesses could reach out for clarification on the available incentives and relevant application information.
Stay tuned for more update, for the greater good of Malaysia and its ongoing transformation to becoming a true ‘Digital Nation’.
Vic Sithasanan is Managing Director of JobStreet Malaysia.
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