Malaysians are among the more adaptive to technology than their regional peers, our mobile penetration is at 140% and we are known to be high on using the social network medium per capita. So when the pandemic hit our shores many employees were concern on the impact it could trigger especially when the MCO was introduced, this pushed corporations to operate their businesses remotely with use of technology. This was a sink or swim situation for staffs, luckily most were able to adapt and quickly got about doing their task under the new norm, however 1 year on not all are comfortable with their new found position.
According to a survey conducted by PWC, while 77% of Malaysians consider technology presenting more opportunities than risks, yet for the most part, they remain anxious about its impact on job security. 2,003 Malaysians were polled on their views around technology, jobs and skills when the country was placed under a targeted Movement Control Order, compared to 60% of global respondents, 71% of Malaysians fear that jobs may be at risk because of automation showing a sharp increase from 34% the previous year.
While only 19% of Malaysian respondents say they had adequate digital skills to perform their jobs, 57% say they have improved their digital skills since the pandemic began (vs 40% globally). Among the 57% respondents, 46% had some digital skills and developed them further, while 11% who didn’t have adequate digital skills were able to acquire them on the job.
Nurul A’in Abdul Latif, Markets Leader of PwC Malaysia feels there are still barriers keeping locals from accessing relevant technology to upskill themselves. She calls for more needed to be done by Malaysian companies “they need to move beyond mere lip service to urgently plug the skills gap through a proper upskilling strategy” she added.
The good news is, Malaysians are keen to learn 87% of respondents agree that it is their responsibility to update their skills instead of relying on their employers to do so. 88% say they are ready to learn new skills or completely retrain so that they can continue to be employable in the future. Upskilling rests on everyone’s shoulders.
To this point Michael Graham, Chief Digital Officer, PwC Malaysia calls for a need of a larger mandate through closer collaboration between the government and the private sector. With the recent launch of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), businesses are in a pivotal position to partner with the government to intensify upskilling initiatives, and track and measure their progress to benefit everyone in society.