KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 (Bernama) — With a view to tapping the labour potential to drive the nation’s economy, the government has outlined several measures to improve labour market efficiency to accelerate economic growth.
The Economic Report 2015/2016 says the government aims to increase labour productivity and wages through the shift to high-skilled occupations and wider adoption of the Productivity-Linked Wage Systems (PLWS).
Besides that, the government will also transform the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to meet industry demand by improvements in TVET management, including the move towards having a single qualification system adopted by both the Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA) and Department of Skills Development (DSD) to accredit TVET programmes offered by both public and private TVET institutions.
“The Myskills Competition and International Skills Competition for TVET students will be implemented as promotional efforts,” said the report. Besides that, the government will also strenghten lifelong learning for skills enhancement whereby it (the government) will continue to improve industry-based upskilling and entrepreneurship-related training programmes.
According to the report, the Future Workers Training (FWT) Scheme will be established to promote pre-employment training focusing on emerging technologies.
The last prospect is to improve the quality of education for better student outcome and institutional excellence which will cover preschool, post-secondary and higher education.
“These include enhancing the quality of early childhood care and education, improving professional development, empowering state education departments, strengthening support from parent-teacher assocations for education, periodical curriculum revision by institutions of higher learning and launch of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in niche areas of expertise,” noted the report.
The Economic Report also highlights several issues and challenges faced by the labour market;
* low labour productivity
* inadequate quality workforce and creation of quality jobs
* youth unemployment
* low female labour force participation
* dependency on low-skilled foreign workers
Labour market conditions remained favourable in the first half of 2015, with continued expansion in the economy which contributed to the sustained demand for labour including;
* growth of labour force by 1.8 per cent to 14.1 million people
* unemployment rate at 3.1 per cent during the first half of 2015
* working-age population is expected to increase 1.5 per cent to 20.9 million people
* active job-seekers declined by 27.2 per cent to 292,550, of which 64,482 (22 per cent) were new registrants during the first eight months of 2015
* labour productivity grew by 3.5 per cent to RM61,708 in 2014
* salaries and wages received by paid employees based on the 2014 Salaries and Wages Survey Report increased by 8.7 per cent to RM2,231 in 2014