Malaysia is set to narrow the skills gap to achieve its Malaysia 5.0 goals and be the digital hub of ASEAN.

To do this seeks to integrate 4IR (4th industrial revolution) technologies in all levels of society, align the national education system with digital goals, implement public and private partnerships, and boost the digital sector’s GDP contribution to 25.5% by 2025.

However, the slow pace of upskilling the workforce is dragging behind the accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic. Malaysia ranked 46th in Coursera’s Global Skills Report, lagging Singapore (10th) and Vietnam (20th).

To address the skills gap, Malaysia has launched programs that include #MyDigitalMaker Movement, eUsahawan, Premier Digital Tech Institute, Digital Skills Training Directory, and Let’s Learn Digital.

#MyDigitalWorkforce Work in Tech (MYWiT) provides training and subsidies to encourage employers to hire the unemployed for digital tech and services jobs. Global tech giants such as Facebook, IBM, Google, Huawei, and Microsoft, are partnering with the initiatives.

Recently, telecom company Ericsson announced its collaboration with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) to educate students on 5G and emerging technologies. The partnership gives UTM students free access to the Ericsson Educate portal to complement the university’s online degrees and micro-credentials programs.

Malaysia’s digital job vacancies almost tripled from 19,000 in June 2020 to 56,000 in April 2021, according to the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC). Meanwhile, LinkedIn Talent Insights showed that local top 10 in-demand digital skills are analytical skills, engineering, computer science, software development, programming, SQL, Lead, JavaScript, information technology, and cloud computing.

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