Malaysia’s manufacturing sector continues to be hampered by the volatility of COVID-19 outbreaks and movement control orders. The biggest bottleneck comes from the reduced workforce capacity, resulting in periods of weakened demand. However, a few bright spots are emerging that will likely improve the outlook for the sector in the coming years.

In September 2021, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) reported Malaysia’s manufacturing sales rose 3.7% year-on-year to RM121.2 billion. The growth in sales value was driven by the increase in transport equipment and other manufactured products, food, beverage, tobacco products, as well as electrical and electronic products.

manufacturing trends in malaysia 2022
manufacturing trends in malaysia 2022

key manufacturing trends in 2022

Kavilnd Annamalai, sales and marketing manager for Randstad Malaysia, is confident that the manufacturing sector’s performance in 2022 will improve further as the government has allowed the manufacturing sector to operate at 100% capacity. This enables organisations to increase production as well as improve production efficiencies and effectiveness.

The government's initiatives and its 12MP plan including the National fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) policy, which supports the manufacturing sector, will help create more jobs and talent demand in 2022.

digitalise to be more resilient to technological changes

With technology innovation and a competitive market, many manufacturers are already leveraging automated warehousing systems to improve supply chains, shorten delivery times, and digitalise processes like filling up customs tax forms. But the foundations for digitalisation first need to be established to improve operational efficiency for factories to be ready for Industry 4.0 or even Industry 5.0.

While the transition to Industry 4.0 has typically been slow, new government policies could help make Malaysia a more hospitable environment to nurture emerging technologies. For the local workforce, this means there will be a growing focus on experts in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), Internet-of-Things (IoT), blockchain, cloud computing, big data analytics, as well as advanced materials and technologies.

semiconductor is up for grabs

With the swift digitalisation prompted by COVID-19, there has been a global surge in demand in the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) sector—particularly for semiconductors. Unfortunately, the global demand far outpaces supply as companies and consumers around the world are faced with product delays and backorders.

In light of the fact that global semiconductor production is concentrated in only a handful of countries in Asia, companies are re-evaluating their supply chain strategies. Many semiconductor firms are now looking to Southeast Asia markets to further diversify and expand their manufacturing footprint, presenting a huge opportunity for Malaysia to move up the value chain. 

talent trends in manufacturing in 2022

The manufacturing industry suffers from a negative image problem—and that is hurting the sector’s odds of attracting top tech talent. The biggest challenge for manufacturers now and in the near future will be to address the skills shortage with the added hurdle of improving the sector’s brand image. 

The lack of necessary skills brings forth the workforce shortages for skilled workers in the manufacturing industry. With the extension of the freeze on hiring foreign workers, companies must now compete with each other for top local hires and find alternative solutions to plug the knowledge gap.

the manufacturing jobs that will be in demand for 2022 and the future are roles in:

  • test engineers and new product introduction engineers for the semiconductor industry
  • automation engineers or robotic engineers for general manufacturing companies
  • sourcing analysts for supply chain firms and manufacturing companies
download malaysia labour market outlook
download malaysia labour market outlook

download the 2022 malaysia’s job market outlook and salary snapshot report.

key highlights of the 2022 job market in malaysia

The 2022 Market Outlook and Salary Snapshot report looks at the industry trends, talent analysis and new post-pandemic salary benchmarks in the following high-growth industries:

If finding exceptional talent for your business is a key challenge or if you want to take your workforce ready for the future of work, please get in touch with us. You can also check our key areas of expertise.

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