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Despite a shaky start to 2019 caused by declining exports and unfavourable domestic demands, business confidence in the manufacturing sector in Malaysia remains largely unaffected.
In fact, the country reported a 4.9% year-on-year growth between April and June this year, attributed to stronger household consumption and manufacturing output. Malaysia’s manufacturing sales also grew by 5.7% in March at RM72.4 billion, dominated by electrical and electronic products (compared to RM68.5 billion in 2018).
A recent study commissioned by FMM (Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers) stated that approximately one in five companies surveyed are expanding their headcount as they are optimistic about future production levels. The Department of Statistics supports this sentiment, reporting that the Malaysia’s manufacturing sector growth is aligned with the increase in employment and average remuneration rate.
skills shortage hinders implementation of digital initiatives
Before a successful digital transformation can take place, it is critical that employers implement a culture of agile and continuous learning within the organisation.
Technology alone is not the elixir for enhancing productivity and efficiency. Manufacturing companies in Malaysia must have an adept workforce capable of administering the digital initiatives. A PwC report highlighted that 26% of industrial manufacturing respondents mentioned that the primary barrier to implementing digital transformation initiatives is the lack of adequately skilled teams.
If left unresolved, the skills gap will further widen, impacting the long-term GDP growth of Malaysia. The workforce will also be caught in the tireless treadmill of playing catch-up with the pace of economic and business development. The need for human capital development initiatives - both by the government and employers - has never been more important.
based on the results from 2019 employer brand research, the report highlights:
- the impact of automation and robotics on job security
- how to close the prevalent skills gap as the industry’s need for advanced skills outpaces talent capabilities
- the answer to higher salaries and better skilled jobs in manufacturing industry