Report: Malaysians Optimistic about Automation but Fear Their Jobs May be on the Line

July 6, 20205:31 pm1205 views
Report:  Malaysians Optimistic about Automation but Fear Their Jobs May be on the Line
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Change is coming to jobs and it’s here to stay. 70 percent of Malaysians believe that technology will change their current jobs in 3 – 5 years, according to PwC’s ‘Digital resilience in a new world’ report.

The report, based on a survey on technology, jobs and skills reveals that 77 percent of Malaysian respondents are excited or optimistic about the role technology can play in their jobs. Most who feel positive are hopeful that technology would allow them to do more interesting work (35 percent) and enable them to get more done (27 percent).

These are encouraging findings against the backdrop of COVID-19, which has intensified the need for organisations to rethink how people work, and how they can plug the skills gap in an increasingly mobile workforce.

Yet, there are lingering concerns around job security, with 34 percent of respondents fearing that automation is putting their jobs at risk. The survey revealed an interesting correlation with regards to respondent outlook. University-educated respondents and those with professional certificates believe that automation presents more opportunities than risks, compared to SPM leavers and those with technical qualifications. All eyes will be on organisations as they address their workforce challenges to adapt to the needs of a future reshaped by COVID-19.

See also: Revolutionising Human Resources with Voice Technology

Nurul A’in Abdul Latif, PwC Malaysia Markets Leader said:

“Governments and businesses have been grappling with the issue of upskilling for some time now, as the pace of technology continues to confound, or are in some cases driving further divide among those with opportunities and those with little opportunities to upskill.

As Malaysia recovers from COVID-19, organisations will find that protecting jobs may be tough, but necessary to keep the economy moving in the new normal. This starts by having an inclusive skills strategy that considers the needs of those with less opportunities for advancement, identifying where skills gaps and mismatches may be present, and aligning these priorities with the business strategy.”

Empowering employees to upskill themselves

It is encouraging to note that 49 percent of respondents believe that the onus for upskilling rests with the individuals themselves. An overwhelming majority (93 percent) of respondents also said that they would accept the opportunity to use technology or improve their digital understanding if given the chance. However, organisations still have a long way to go in supporting the needs and expectations of their employees especially in the current environment where remote working has become the norm.

While 53 percent of respondents said they are given some opportunities by their current employer to improve their digital skills outside their normal duties, it is clear that organisations can certainly do more to lay the right foundation for an environment of continuous learning, in support of their employees’ overall development.

Only 46 percent of respondents said they were provided with all the necessary tools to be effective when working remotely during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period in Malaysia. This points to a greater need for leaders to ensure their employees are provided with the right tools and technology infrastructure to facilitate remote working while ensuring productivity isn’t compromised.

See also: Is the Future of Work All About Technology & Automation?

Nurul continued:

“Evidently, there is a strong appetite for learning among Malaysians as well as a keen awareness to upskill themselves as part of personal development. As we can see, 85 percent of the survey respondents said they would learn new skills or completely retrain as a means to improve their future employability. 53 percent of respondents said they would like to become more proficient at learning and adapting to new technologies.

At such a time as this, organisations would do well to address their employees’ learning needs by investing in strategic upskilling programmes, and empowering their employees to take charge of their own learning through the use of self-learning tools. PwC’s Digital Fitness app, for example, is currently available for free, offering users an extensive library of resources to help them deepen their knowledge of the latest digital trends and adapt to new ways of working and learning. A supportive organisational culture that promotes effective learning is critical in bringing out the best in employees.”

Read also: Maximising Technology for Employee Health Improvement

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