KUCHING: Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 is here to stay and will keep on advancing. Malaysians must therefore take the plunge to see the positive impact on the creation of jobs.
“We are at the threshold of an unprecedented technological change. We are also faced with a shortage of talented people who can exploit the openings and prospects. It is important that we work closely together to increase our abilities and be prepared for the way tasks are accomplished in the workplace,” said Minister of Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah at the opening of National Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Malaysia (Nawem) IR4.0 and the Future of Work conference here yesterday.
“IR 4.0 is not about re-skilling particular groups of people for the high jobs. It is about the fundamental shift in the way human resource is perceived,” she added.
The speakers were Yukako Uchinaga from Japan; Sharala Axryd from The Centre of Applied Data Science, and Prof Dr Al-Khalid Othman from Sarawak Multimedia Authority. Nawem president Sarojini Ruth was also present.
Fatimah’s text of speech was read by Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus.
“If we are not ready, and with our current level of unpreparedness, we will face an uphill task,” she said.
The Re-skilling Imperative, a survey done by World Economic Forum has concluded that advanced economies need three to five months to retrain and upskill workers to align them with the new technologies introduced into the workplace.
The gap between the current skills and the new skills can impact the competitiveness of businesses. Companies are paying attention to high-value jobs and retrain their staff as it will affect their profitability. Those in the low skill jobs may have to take their own initiative to re-skill themselves as it will be cheaper for the companies to hire newer and younger talents, she said.
Sarawak, she added must also be ready with infrastructure, as getting on board with the new technology is a matter of survival.
“I am happy to say that we have a very good plan, which is being implemented in stages.”
The first stage: e-commerce, creating new business environment and women sees the possibility to be part of the service and good providers. There’s an opportunity of being entrepreneurs and technopreneurs. So Industrial 4.0 is not faced with trepidation but with curiosity and creativity, she added.
Robotics and artificial intelligence gives people freedom from mundane repetitive work and help them move into creative and artistic work. They can become job creators and not job seekers.
“Many young people who create application software do not have a university education but have an insatiable curiosity to find ways of making life easier and interesting. In the process they make money, some big bucks such as the Facebook founder.”
“Sarawak has ensured that the four main areas of Data infrastructure will be put in place. The work has already started. They are transmission centre, storage centre, generating centre and analytic centre. The internet of things, which are continuously coming into the market will be the enablers. This is the new Malaysia.”
The third strategy is the conversion of economies such as the agriculture, manufacturing and government sectors into digital sectors. These sectors have to keep pace with the frantic speed in which everything is changing and moving, she said.