73 percent of Malaysian workers are concerned they’re unprepared for the jobs of the future finds new report

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Kuala Lumpur, 14 August, 2019 – Around seven in ten workers across Malaysia are
concerned about not receiving the learning, development, and training they need for the
jobs of the future, according to a new study by Skillsoft, a global leader in corporate
learning.

Based on a comprehensive study of 750 workers across Malaysia about their readiness for
the future of work, Skillsoft’s Mind the Gap report shows a majority of employees feel
under-skilled and worried their employers will not support them to meet future job
requirements.

Ninety percent of respondents reported they would need to learn a new skill in 2019 to
remain confident in their role. Around seven in ten (73 percent) respondents are concerned
about not receiving the learning, development, and training they need from their organization to remain employable and skilled in the future, while almost one in five (19
percent) are very concerned.

On average, surveyed employees received learning, development, and training from their
organization for new skills for their job role three times in 2018. However, 81 percent report
their organization could provide more training, learning and upskilling opportunities, while
only 13 percent of those who received training last year rated this as excellent, where
nothing could have been improved.

Rosie Cairnes, Regional Director, Skillsoft APAC, commented, “We are quite shocked by the
level of concern and unpreparedness among employees. Training, learning, and
development are critical to technology-enabled workplaces, yet many Malaysian
organizations are failing to deliver enough. This is not just a ‘future’ problem, it is happening
now.”

Digital transformation and employee training out of step

Ninety-four percent of respondents surveyed say their role is being changed due to digital
transformation – with 41 percent reporting their role is being digitally transformed, and
more than half (53 percent) stating their role is having a slight digital transformation.

However, employee training is not keeping pace. In 2019, 85 percent of employees in
Malaysia would like their organization to be more on-trend with the training they provide.
Almost half (48 percent) of employees would like to receive learning, development and
training opportunities online through eLearning courses, while over half (51%) are
interested in receiving training via microlearning.

Furthermore, over eight in ten (83 percent) respondents agree the future of work is nothing
without training, learning and development.

“Continuous, personalized, on-demand learning that allows individuals to curate their own
training journey in a way that is responsive to the needs of their role at their own pace,
must become standard across all businesses – large and small – in order to manage digital
transformation effectively,” Ms. Cairnes said.

Organizations hiring instead of training

The report also showed around nine in ten (87 percent) respondents believe when a new
role needs to be filled in their organization, employers look externally instead of internally
because they have failed to put in place an appropriate learning and development program
to upskill their people. More than one third (35 percent) report that roles are filled with
external employees all or most of the time.

“Hiring is far more costly than training and organizations are already grappling with a skills
deficit in the jobs market. Failing to invest in employee development also has a huge bearing
on job satisfaction and retention,” Ms. Cairnes said. “Many organizations are missing out on
the positive financial impact and increased the performance of upskilling their employees to
take on new roles.”