KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — Malaysians are optimistic about the impact of automation, but fear their jobs may be on the line, according to PwC Malaysia’s ‘Digital resilience in a new world’ report.
About 70 per cent of the 986 survey respondents believe that technology will change their current jobs in three to five years and 77 per cent are excited or optimistic about the role technology can play in their jobs.
Most who feel positive are hopeful that technology would allow them to do more interesting work (35 per cent) and enable them to get more done (27 per cent), it said in a statement today.
However, there are lingering concerns around job security, with 34 per cent of the participants fearing that automation is putting their jobs at risk.
PwC Malaysia said university-educated respondents and those with professional certificates believe that automation presents more opportunities than risks, compared to Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) leavers and those with technical qualifications.
PwC Malaysia markets leader Nurul A’in Abdul Latif said as Malaysia recovers from Covid-19, organisations will find that protecting jobs may be tough but necessary to keep the economy moving in the new normal.
“Governments and businesses have been grappling with the issue of upskilling for some time now, as the pace of technology continues to confound, or are in some cases driving a further divide among those with opportunities and those with few opportunities to upskill,” she said.
The report also showed 49 per cent of respondents believe that the onus for upskilling rests with the individuals themselves.
An overwhelming majority or 93 per cent of respondents also said that they would accept the opportunity to use technology or improve their digital understanding if given the chance.
About 53 per cent of respondents said they are given some opportunities by their current employer to improve their digital skills outside their normal duties.
However, it is clear that organisations can certainly do more to lay the right foundation for an environment of continuous learning, in support of their employees’ overall development.
Meanwhile, 46 per cent of respondents said they were provided with all the necessary tools to be effective when working remotely during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period in Malaysia.
“Evidently, there is a strong appetite for learning among Malaysians as well as a keen awareness to upskill themselves as part of personal development,” Nurul A’in said, adding that 85 per cent of the respondents said they would learn new skills or completely retrain as a means to improve their future employability.
In addition, 53 per cent of the respondents said they would like to become more proficient at learning and adapting to new technologies.
“At such a time as this, organisations would do well to address their employees’ learning needs by investing in strategic upskilling programmes, and empowering their employees to take charge of their own learning through the use of self-learning tools,” Nurul A’in added.