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Malaysia currently only has 28 per cent skilled workers when a developed nation needs at least 50 per cent skilled workers. ― Reuters pic
Malaysia currently only has 28 per cent skilled workers when a developed nation needs at least 50 per cent skilled workers. ― Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Measures to raise the number of skilled workers should be among the matters to be given focus under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) in the effort to propel Malaysia into a developed nation.

The Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said at the moment Malaysia only has 28 per cent skilled workers when a developed nation needs at least 50 per cent skilled workers.

“We tried to achieve 35 per cent last year but several factors disrupted the move especially the Covid-19 pandemic.    

“Skilled workers need certification but the trainees could not obtain face-to-face guidance when the country was under Movement Control Order (MCO) to contain spread of Covid-19 and affected the number of skilled workers produced in the country,” he told Bernama today.

According to Shamsuddin, two important skills which Malaysian workers need to have are information technology and communications (ICT) and digitalisation as they are crucial criteria for employers to ensure their companies get more competitive.

Therefore, he said each worker has to  be equipped with ICT and digitalisation knowledge to ensure they have better employment opportunities and assist their organisation to keep abreast with technology.

“If we are not prepared from now, it would be difficult to become competitive, like what happened during MCO, when farmers in Cameron Highlands found it hard to sell and were forced to dispose of their crops as there were no buyers.     

“Nonetheless, the assistance of various parties using online marketing helped them to recover their earnings during the period,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Society for Occupational Safety and Health (MSOSH) president Dr Shawaludin Husin wants the government to emphasise on occupational safety by ensuring employers took into consideration five major risks namely chemical, physical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial.

He said employers who neglect occupational safety and health and failed to analyse control risks effectively would increase occupational accidents at the work place.

At the same time, Shawaludin said the government needed to ensure the lowest rate of industrial accident as it would give us a good image and attract foreign investors to the country.

“We see that as more employment sectors open in stages, there would be more news of work place accidents  and it should be given due attention.

“Even though the pandemic situation is moving towards an endemic, health and safety should continue to be given priority so that efforts to allow workers to return would not be in vain,” he said. — Bernama

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