Malaysia's Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran revealed that the Ministry of Human Resources is in the midst of drafting the National Human Resources Blueprint (NHRB), according to reports by Bernama and New Straits Times.

The NHRB will serve as a guide to prepare Malaysia for Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) and resolve issues faced in the labour market. It will do so by analysing the changes and opportunities created in the fields of employment, skills, and human capital development to help enhance Malaysia's economy.

"This in return shall pave the way for the development of a strategic and comprehensive Human Resource Development plan which will carry out an in-depth analysis pertaining the trend, pattern and issues concerning three main frameworks which are workforce, workplace and jobs," he said in his speech at the launch of Human Resource Convention, Bernama reported. His speech was read out by the ministry's deputy secretary-general (policy and international) Datuk Kua Abun.

“This study will also assist Malaysia to prepare and move towards a more comprehensive and inclusive IR4.0, new growth areas and be in line with national aspirations in promoting green jobs, entrepreneurship and the gig economy,” he added.

The plan will include a through analysis in three key areas - workforce, workplace, and jobs.

#1 Workforce

The workforce framework assess the impact of liberalisation, globalisation, digitalisation, e-commerce, technology advancement and innovation brought upon by IR 4.0 toward the Malaysian economy and its implication on the employment for citizens, foreign workers and expatriates, Bernama reported.

In particular, it will identify and assess the number of the workforce within the Special Target Groups categories, namely the bottom 40% of the household income (B40) group, female workers, disabled persons and the elderly.

He said: "The study will also identify and asses the current and future requirements for workforce development through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Life-Long Learning including the Recognition of Prior Learning."

This is part of the effort to ensure that 35% of the nation's total workforce shall be skilled in the various fields by 2020, he said.

The study will also assess, review and formulate policy directions of reducing the country's dependency on foreign workers and expatriates.

#2 Workplace

Citing changes in the the work environment and labour-market systems, Kulasegaran revealed that under the workplace framework, the ministry has begun to look into making amendments to existing labour legislations, New Straits Times reported.

“We are now able to observe flexibility and improvement in hiring and firing; fixed term and contractual arrangements; improved social security protection systems, as well as wages and productivity," Kulasegaran said.

In that line, he said the ministry has undertaken efforts to amend labour legislations, in particular, the Employment Act 1995, Trades Union Act 1959 and the Industrial Relations Act 1967.

The minister said: "This is to ensure labour legislations are non-discriminatory, flexible and in line with international standards as determined by the International Labour Organisation."

#3 Jobs

When it comes to the jobs framework, the study will identify and forecast manpower requirements by economic-sectors, critical sub-sectors and occupation categories in line with the needs of the economy for the period 2019-2035, Bernama reported.

This will enable the government to forecast manpower supply by levels and fields of study and specialisation from public and private tertiary institutions to cater for future skills need of the IR 4.0, Kulasegaran said.

He added: "This national blueprint will also enable the government to identify the occupations that can be categorised as knowledge-manpower and determine the key or critical occupations required for the IR 4.0 besides identifying new growth areas."

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