HR minister: Malaysia needs to retrain 50% of workforce amid AI rise

Rapid emergence of AI could cost 4.5 million Malaysians their jobs, warns minister

HR minister: Malaysia needs to retrain 50% of workforce amid AI rise

Malaysian Human Resources Minister V. Sivakumar has underscored the need to retrain 50% of the country's workforce following warnings that 4.5 million Malaysians could lose their jobs in the wake of artificial intelligence (AI).

The minister, citing the 2020 World Economic Forum, warned that AI could cause a "recession in the job market" as it automates tasks in various industries such as 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," he said as quoted by Bernama. "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."

A report from Goldman Sachs also warned that 300 million full-time jobs across the world are at risk following the rapid emergence of AI.

"If generative AI delivers on its promised capabilities, the labour market could face significant disruption," the report said.

Sivakumar, however, noted that Malaysia is "fortunate" that emerging jobs have functions that can be combined with technology.

"The need to improve skills is not only for career advancement or change, but to stay in the job," he said.

New training programme

As part of its efforts to upskill employees, Malaysia launched on Monday the Industry Driven Talent Acceleration Programme (ID-TAP) 2023 at the Selangor Human Resource Development Centre.

The initiative saw a RM7.2-million investment that aims to improve the skills and retrain 900 workers across the country, Bernama reported.

So far, 627 employees have received approval to join the programme, according to Sivakumar, adding that targets are workers who have five or less years of experience.

Under the initiative, employees will be provided with knowledge and skills required by industries such as mechatronics, electrical and electronic engineering, data analysis, and information technology.

Interested applicants can joined through the industry, their company, or state skill development centres.

The programme was established by the Human Resources Ministry through the Skill Development Fund Corporation in collaboration with Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad, according to Bernama.

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