Demand will rise for workers skilled in technology

IBM Malaysia working with MoE and MDEC to address shortage of ‘new collar’ workers through its P-Tech programme


AS TRADITIONAL jobs disappear, Malaysia needs to train a new generation of workers who can fill the rising demand for cloud, artificial intelligence (AI) and emerging technologies.

IBM Malaysia Sdn Bhd MD Catherine Lian said the country needs to train a new breed of so-called “new collar” workers who can work where the demand is — in new technology.

She said in the near future, human jobs would not disappear but they will be doing new things in green economy jobs, roles at the forefront of the data and AI economy, new roles in engineering, cloud computing and product development.

“As businesses move into the digital era, the transformation will create more opportunities for Malaysians to participate as digital talents.

She said there is demand by companies to use AI and cloud solutions to get better at business and adjust in a digital environment.

IBM Malaysia is collaborating with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and Malaysia Digital Economy Corp (MDEC) to address the shortage of “new collar” workers through its P-Tech programme.

It is specifically targeted at vocational students from underserved communities to acquire digital skills and job readiness.

“It is clear that digital readiness is no longer optional, it’s a must. And Malaysians need to prepare for some sort of technical skills and aptitudes for technology solutions to meet the demand for new collar workforce now, and in the future,” Lian said.

She said Malaysian companies have accelerated their digital transformations in both public and private sectors by adopting AI and cloud-based remote collaboration tools to collect data that can produce business insights so they can innovate operations.

“We see them adopting tech in human resource (HR), procurement, finance and supply chain, as well as in customer engagement, marketing and sales.

“In Malaysia, the acceleration in cloud adoption is happening as businesses leverage the power of cloud to stay competitive in the market.”

Based on the 2021 IBM CEO study, during the pandemic, AI has proven its value in everything from making supply chains more flexible and transparent, simplifying and scaling customer service with AI-driven chatbots, to creating more personalised employee experiences during the broad shift to remote work.

A hybrid cloud approach will be a key enabler of agility. Companies want the flexibility to run their critical workloads across any platform without having to rewrite everything as they go.

Lian said CEOs opined cloud, AI and Internet of Things (IoT) are the top technologies that will deliver benefits for their business.

“Built on a hybrid cloud infrastructure, technologies like AI, IoT and automation can make the essential processes at the core of businesses (supply chain, finance, HR, procurement) more responsive and intelligent — enabling greater effectiveness and efficiency in an ever-changing business environment and delivering more real-time insights across functional silos.” Lian said outperforming CEOs are positioning themselves by partnering to win via open innovation.

“From a high of 79% in 2015, only 36% of CEOs in our 2020 research expect more partnering opportunities. It is therefore particularly notable that, in a reflection of the ‘focus on what we do best’ mantra, outperformers report a heightened emphasis on partnerships.”