Technologist: M’sia needs to increase high-skilled workforce to 49 pct, create 2 mln additional jobs

Dr Siti Hamisah delivers her presentation during Technological Association Malaysia National Conference 2023 held at Imperial Hotel, Kuching on April 15, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, April 15: Malaysia needs to increase its high-skilled workforce to 49 per cent and create two million additional high-skilled jobs to achieve the status of a developed nation.

Malaysia Board of Technologists (MBOT) president Datuk Dr Siti Hamisah Tapsir said according to a report by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) for the Fourth Quarter (Q4) of 2022, the nation’s workforce is standing at 8.6 million workers.


Of the total workforce based on a diamond-shaped model, 24 per cent are high-skilled, 62 per cent are semi-skilled, and the remaining 12 per cent are low-skilled.

“Because of the small number of low-skilled (workforce), we have to import foreigners to work here (in Malaysia).

“We could do away without the foreign workers if the low-skilled (workforce) is being replaced with all these technological advancements, autonomous cars equipped with Internet of Things (IoT) or Artificial Intelligence (AI). That can be achieved,” she said during the Technological Association Malaysia National Conference 2023, themed ‘Technology Without Borders 2030’ held today at Imperial Hotel.

She further cited World Bank’s report that Malaysia needs another two million additional high-skilled jobs to become a developed nation, turning the diamond-shaped model into an inverted pyramid model.

“For the inverted pyramid, the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR) stated that we should have at least 35 per cent (high-skilled workforce), but according to MBOT calculations, we should have 49 per cent of a high-skilled workforce.

“So this is something that the government should look into by increasing the current 24.9 per cent high-skilled workforce to 49 per cent, instead of 35 per cent,” she added, stating that countries like Singapore and the United Kingdom have a high-skilled workforce of about 55 per cent. — DayakDaily