The launching of the SkillsMalaysia 2.0: SKILL4ALL Towards New Collar Jobs programme, an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resources, is a wise and timely move, said Sultan of Perak, Sultan Nazrin Shah.
He hoped the move could fortify the development of the best human capital in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in line with the challenges of technological changes, global worker migration and world climate changes.
‘’It is hoped that the effort can stabilise skills training to support industrial development and technological mastery and, subsequently, reduce national dependency on technology and skilled manpower from abroad,’’ he said in his speech at the launch of the programme at the Ipoh Industrial Training Institute in Ipoh, today.
He said current data proved that TVET graduates could find jobs more easily, with 92 percent of its graduates obtained employment, compared to 30,765 graduates or 59.9 graduates at the first-degree level and upwards who had yet to find work a year after graduating.
He said this situation proved that there was a mismatch between the qualifications of the graduates produced by the institutions of higher education with the skills needed by the industry.
"This must be rectified," the sultan said, adding that the approach and training at TVET institutes should be engineered by introducing best practices in management, drafting and designing programmes and training deliveries.
He said focus must be given towards boosting the ability of independent learning with the approach depending on problem-based learning, project-based learning and production-based approaches.
‘’These new methods will provide the exposure for students in the real working world. The National Occupational Skills Standard, which is the foundation of the training curriculum development, must be boosted in line with the development of digital technology,’’ he said.
In addition, Sultan Nazrin said TVET programmes must ensure that trainees were equipped with soft skills encompassing non-academic skills such as positive values, leadership, teamwork, communication and continuous learning.
He said the aspect of ethics and moral must mandatorily be made important components so that technocrats and skilled workers produced adhere to the principle of trustworthiness, integrity, sincerity, being anti-corruption and not abusing powers.
The sultan added that the employment world would change significantly in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era including, among others, the automation technology minimising the involvement of humans in many job sectors.
He said a study conducted last year by the World Bank together with agencies under the Human Resources Ministry, Talent Corp and the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis revealed that 50 percent of jobs in Malaysia faced a high risk of being automated, while 25 percent more faced a moderate risk.
He said employers in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era would need workers who had holistic skills encompassing emotional intelligence, analytical thinking, active and wise in decision-making, able to think creatively and critically and had effective communication ability.
‘’Employments in the future require workers who have social interactive skills, artistic expression, collaborative attitude, empathy and intelligence,’’ he said.
On the term new collar jobs, which was introduced by IBM chief executive officer Ginni Rometty at the end of 2016, Sultan Nazrin said there should an effort to identify the new types of work that would exist.
‘’New types of technical jobs which stress specifically on skills and no longer academic degrees will no longer depend on academic qualification but more dependent on the skills possessed,’’ said Sultan Nazrin.