IR4.0 will create more highly-skilled jobs
09 Dec 2020
The Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0), which is actively being developed by the government, will create more highly-skilled jobs to solve the current high unemployment rate.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Lim Ban Hong said the IR4.0 provides an opportunity for the country to produce a new generation of workers who could use new technologies in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.
“It will also increase employment opportunities for the locals,” he said in response to a supplementary question from Datuk Mohd Salim Sharif (BN-Jempol) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Mohd Salim wanted to know the plan undertaken by the government to curb the possibility of more Malaysians losing jobs in the future as the McKinsey Global Institute had stated that the IR4.0 would cause around 75 million to 375 million workers globally to be replaced by automation and robotics by 2030.
Lim said for Malaysia, the workforce to be replaced would be in the labour-intensive sectors that rely largely on foreign labour.
“In the manufacturing, services and other industries (that adapt to IR4.0) we will see the use of high technology, but it will also create (new) highly-skilled workers.
“As we see the future direction of our country’s development lies in the manufacturing and industrial development sectors, (hence) we are heading for high-tech investment and we hope the workers in this field will achieve high income,” he said.
Lim said the transition to IR4.0 will increase the demand for a high-skilled workforce based on the technology required in the IR4.0 sectors that will create employment opportunities for locals.
In addition to increasing productivity, cost efficiency, strengthening innovation capabilities and spurring local technological development, he said the policy also provides a framework towards preparing skilled manpower for the jobs created.
He said the government had implemented various efforts through programmes and initiatives, including Industry4WRD and TWG-S Working Technical Committee, under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resources and Ministry of Higher Education to strengthen existing skills and generate new talent for the future.
He also said the government has introduced two special programmes for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), namely the Readiness Assessment (RA) and Industry4WRD Intervention Fund, to assist (SMEs) in the migration to IR4.0.
“For the 2019 to 2020 period, the government has allocated RM22 million to implement the RA programme which includes training for RA assessors, the Industry4WRD Summit and Industry4WRD outreach programme, among others.
“MITI (the Ministry of International Trade and Industry) achieved the target in the implementation of the RA programme for 2019, with the participation of 508 SMEs in this programme. For 2020, the government is targeting 373 SMEs to undergo this programme,” he said, adding that 808 SMEs have been selected so far to take part in the RA programme.
As for the Industry4WRD Intervention Fund, he said RM35 million had been allocated for 2019 and 2020 encompassing skills training, manufacturing process improvements and technology applications involved in the IR4.0.
All SMEs, which have undergone the government-funded RA programme, are eligible to apply for the Industry4WRD Intervention Fund from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).
“As at November 2020, a total of138 Intervention Fund applications have been received and 63 SMEs have granted the matching grants,” he said.