Randstad Malaysia’s 2023 talent and salary outlook report includes key labour trends and employer insights on salaries, bonuses, hiring trends and talent expectations. Download the full report for more information to guide your talent attraction and workforce planning strategy for 2023.

Port congestion, delayed deliveries and rising costs are issues that have plagued total manufacturing output in 2022. We expect global supply chain disruption to continue well into the first half of 2023, with rising costs remaining a major concern for many organisations.

manufacturing trends in malaysia
manufacturing trends in malaysia

To resolve these challenges, we see manufacturing companies stepping up to focus on port operations, warehouse management solutions, and even developing new air freight solutions. But these are just quick fixes, and the manufacturing industry needs to take a more systematic approach that can weather future unexpected challenges.

growth in key areas in manufacturing

Despite these prevailing challenges in the manufacturing industry in Malaysia, the country maintains confidence in the manufacturing sector for 2023 with support from its pro-business policies that makes it more seamless for foreign multinational corporations (MNCs) and local companies to invest and expand.

As more businesses leverage these initiatives, more high-value jobs will be created, intensifying the competition for skilled talent. 

Malaysia has a highly skilled workforce and a strong supply chain, which makes it an attractive location for manufacturing companies.

key areas for growth in manufacturing sector
key areas for growth in manufacturing sector

1. automotive, data storage and wireless solutions driving demand for semiconductors 

Malaysia remains a major player, cornering 13% market share in global chip testing and assembly. Over the past year, a total of RM52 billion in semiconductor investments have been secured, potentially creating 11,000 jobs in the sector.

Rising industries that need a steady supply of chips are keeping demand strong. Where semiconductors are concerned, the automotive, data storage, and wireless sectors will drive at least 70% of the manufacturing industry.

An earlier McKinsey report has projected that these three sectors will spur about 70% of growth in the global semiconductor market. The automotive industry, in particular, has been singled out as the strongest-growing segment, owing to the growth in autonomous driving and e-mobility.

2. sustained interest in chemical activities

The chemical industry makes up 10.5% of the local manufacturing sector and contributed 2.6% to Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2021, equivalent to RM35.5 billion.

Prices for commodities and specialty chemicals will remain robust throughout the year, driven by strong market interests, supply and demand as well as global trade trends. New and emerging products such as specialty chemicals, green chemicals, and specialised plastics will expand the industry further.

3. intense competition among medical device manufacturers

The COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened domestic capacity building, reducing the country’s reliance on pharmaceutical product and medical device imports.

We also expect to see the manufacturing of medical devices and disposables with a positive growth of  10% to 15% compared to pre-pandemic levels, driven by an ageing population and a stronger desire for better health outcomes.

4. the rise of high-tech parks

High-tech parks in Malaysia have been on the rise in recent years as the government has made efforts to promote the development of technology and innovation in the country.

Also known as industrial or technology parks, high-tech parks catalyse technological advancements and operational excellence for smart manufacturing. Multinational and small-and-medium manufacturing enterprises are encouraged to congregate in these hubs to collaborate and share best practices on modern technologies, such as artificial intelligence and data analytics.

Smaller manufacturers can experiment and learn from the best players, which would further build their business confidence to explore new possibilities with technology. This exposure and willingness to move with the times can help improve the sector’s perspective to attract more talent.

2023 key talent trends and in-demand roles in manufacturing

On the technical side, there will be higher demand for talent with skills related to digitalisation and automation in Malaysia as the country continues to focus on Industry 4.0.

digitalisation and automation jobs that will be sought after are:

  • automation engineers
  • service engineers
  • process engineers 
  • real-time data analysts
  • data modellers
  • sourcing analysts
  • preventive maintenance managers
  • demand planning managers
  • sourcing strategists
  • sourcing specialists
  • logistics managers with Halal certification

On the commercial front, there will be greater focus on these key digital occupations to drive business-to-consumer (B2C) engagement and growth. These professionals will be responsible for developing and implementing digital strategies to increase the visibility and reach of a company's products and services, as well as analysing data to understand customer behaviour and preferences.

Companies that want to stay competitive in the digital economy will have to invest in digital talent to capture growth opportunities and continuously keep up with the latest technologies and trends.

top digital marketing jobs for 2023:

  • digital marketing managers
  • digital content strategists
  • SEO specialists
  • media planners
  • social media managers    

According to the Randstad Employer Brand Research outlined in our Reimagine Work white paper, salary and benefits are among the top considerations for job switchers in Malaysia. In 2023, talent in the manufacturing sector expects a 10% to 15% salary increase when they switch employers.

talent expectations in manufacturing industry
talent expectations in manufacturing industry

In a candidate-short market where job seekers hold the power to negotiate, employers must be prepared to meet new salary expectations. Find out more about 2023’s salary benchmarks for the in-demand roles in our report.

download randstad malaysia’s 2023 talent and salary outlook report

The 2023 Job Market and Salary Trends report looks at workforce analysis and new salary benchmarks in the following industries:

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Our specialised recruiters partner closely with employers and talent for the perfect match. Connect with us for the latest market insights or to fulfil your talent recruitment needs in the new year.

If you’re a job seeker looking for better career growth and job opportunities in the manufacturing space, start your career adventure with us by applying to jobs or submitting your CV to us.

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