Low-skilled workers hampering productivity
Malaysia Productivity Corp

By AFIQ AZIZ / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM

Employers’ over-reliance on low skilled manpower and foreign workers are some of the factors that are hampering Malaysia’s overall productivity growth.

Malaysia Productivity Corp chairman Tan Sri Azman Hashim said the situation has even spurred the government, via relevant ministries, to formulate a comprehensive labour market policy, that would ensure the capitalisation of high-skilled workers.

“The government launched the Malaysia Productivity Blueprint with the objective to achieve 3.7% productivity growth as set in the 11th Malaysia Plan.

“The first obstacle that needs to be overcome is the fact that we do not have an adequate talent pool,” he said in his opening speech at the International Forum on Productivity in Putrajaya yesterday.

Once the blueprint’s “Thrust 1: Building a Workforce of the Future” is enforced, Azman said the country can expect a more restructured staffing system that will include more skilled workers, with a tighter entry for low-skilled workers.

He said several main issues need to be addressed to further push productivity growth. Among them are the adoption of advance technology, the creation of competitive incentive structure and transparent business environment, as well as adopting a certain productivity mindset.

The government, via the blueprint, has also introduced five thrusts to overcome the challenges, including the emphasis on driving digitalisation and innovation that would enable Malaysia to become a developed digital economy by 2020.

Azman said all government grants, incentives, soft loans and other funding mechanisms are also expected to be realigned according to productivity metrics and outcomes.