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(File pic) M. Kulasegaran said the comprehensive human resources development plan would include a thorough analysis based on three main pillars — workforce, workplace and jobs. (NSTP/MUHAIZAN YAHYA)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s National Human Resources Blueprint (NHRB) is being drafted to analyse employment changes, human capital development and opportunities to spur the economy.

Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran said the comprehensive human resources development plan would include a thorough analysis based on three main pillars — workforce, workplace and jobs.

“The study of the workforce framework will assess the impact of liberalisation, globalisation, digitalisation, e-commerce, technology advancement and innovation resulting from industrial revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).

“It will include the employment of locals, foreign workers and expatriates,” said Kulasegaran in a speech read by the ministry’s deputy secretary-general (policy and international) Datuk Kua Abun at the Human Resources Conference 2019.

The event was held to gather ideas and input from policy makers, industrial players and academicians.

The data will be used to draft the NHRB and human resources development planning for the 12th Malaysian Plan.

Some of the ideas raised during the conference include those on new industry policies, friendlier financing schemes for small-medium entrepreneurs, addressing flexible hours and a Freelancer Act.

The minister said the study would identify and assess workforce numbers within the special target groups, including the bottom 40 per cent (B40) income group, female workers, the disabled and the elderly.

Kulasegaran said the NHRB would also identify and assess the current and future requirements for workforce development via Technical Vocational Training (TVET), Life Long Learning and Recognition of Prior Learning.

“This is to ensure 35 per cent of the nation’s total workforce will be skilled in the various fields by 2020,” he said.

He said the rapid changes and evolution in the work environment and labour-market systems had created new challenges for the nation.

“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.”

He said the ministry had begun to look into making amendments to existing labour legislations, mainly the Employment Act 1955, Trades Union Act 1959 and the Industrial Relations Act 1967.

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

Kulasegaran said the study would identify and forecast manpower requirements of the various economic sectors and critical sub-sectors as well as occupational categories in line with the needs of the economy for the 2019-2035 period.

Having such data, he said, the government could forecast manpower supply by levels and fields of study and specialisation from public and private tertiary institutions to cater for future skills needed for IR4.0.

“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.”

The minister said the NHRB would also be used to resolve issues in the labour market.

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