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4.5 million Malaysians likely to lose jobs if they lack skills, says HR minister

V Sivakumar cites the rise of artificial intelligence and its use in the automation of tasks.

2 minute read
A worker carries out his tasks at a factory in Selangor.
A worker carries out his tasks at a factory in Selangor.

As many as 4.5 million Malaysians are likely to lose their jobs by 2030 if they do not improve their skills or attend reskilling and upskilling programmes with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), says Human Resources Minister V Sivakumar.

Sivakumar said this was based on the 2020 World Economic Forum warning that AI could cause a recession in the job market as it is already being used to automate tasks in various industries including manufacturing, healthcare and customer service.

"In the report, it was stated that in order to remain employed in the next two years, 50% of workers will need to be retrained. With the advent of Industrial Revolution 4.0, there is an urgent need for us to transform the national workforce into a skilled workforce to remain relevant.

"However, we are fortunate because the newly emerging jobs are work that can be combined with technology, and the need to improve skills is not only for career advancement or change, but to stay in the job," he said in his speech at an event in Shah Alam yesterday.

Sivakumar said the ministry, through the Skill Development Fund Corporation in collaboration with Talent Corporation Malaysia Bhd, had created ID-TAP which aims to improve skills and retrain 900 workers in the country based on industry needs.

For the initiative, Sivakumar said RM7.2 million had been allocated for workers to be equipped with the knowledge and skills required by industries such as mechatronics, electrical and electronic engineering, data analysis and information technology.

"Among the talent groups that are targeted are workers with work experience of five years or less," he said, adding that of the 900 workers to be selected, approval had been given to 627 participants with the highest numbers from Kedah (177), Selangor (88), and Negeri Sembilan (75).