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Monday, 19 June 2017

(The Star) Preparing for jobs of the future

KUALA LUMPUR: One of the key concerns highlighted in the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) dialogue is how to ensure the younger generation is equipped for jobs of the future.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said almost 65% of existing jobs are likely to become redundant or disappear within 30 years or so.

These include many construction, manufacturing and administration jobs where robots are replacing manual labour.

“Having the right skills for the younger generation is a big concern.

“We have to make sure our education and training systems are adequate for the jobs of the future,” he told reporters after a TN50x and the Future of Malaysia: The Corporate View fireside chat at Menara CIMB last Friday.

He pointed out that currently Malaysia is “overly dependent” on low-skilled foreign labour and under-invested in the field of automation and robots.

“Going forward, in the TN50 initiative, we would need to look at areas to invest in mechanisation, automation, and robotisation,” he said.

He added that the country must grow its productivity level and to move away from labour-intensive sectors.

“In TN50, we are starting to look at potential jobs of the future.

“We need to tweak our education system to be ready for the future.

“The generation, he said, should not only aspire to be doctors or lawyers, but start looking at jobs in robotics and data science,” Khairy said.

The World Economic Forum has also highlighted that the world’s education systems are failing to prepare children for the workplace of the future.

According to its report Realizing Human Potential in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, technology and globalisation are creating new types of jobs and disposing of old ones, and that most education systems today are based on models put in place over a century ago.

Khairy said the TN50 policy document would be launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in September next year.

“We are looking for ways for corporates to be involved in TN50.

“Not just in terms of discussions but also in terms of services that can help us to accelerate the TN50 aspirations,” he said.

He said some of the ideas from the TN50 discussions could be announced under Budget 2018.

The TN50 plan was announced by Najib during the tabling of Budget 2017 last year, as long-term aspirations for Malaysia to look beyond 2020.

“We need to start thinking and invest in the next 30 years and beyond 2020.

“We have to anticipate the future, and many countries are already making a lot of investments in technologies that we are not,” Khairy said.