Urban youth not ready for IR 4.0, says research firm

IDC Asia Pacific research manager Jensen Ooi with Inti acting CEO Tan Lin Nah.

SUBANG JAYA: Industry research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) said today that Malaysia’s future workforce is unprepared for Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0), according to a study conducted in partnership with Inti International University.

The study found that more than 63% of students and fresh graduates failed to articulate what IR 4.0 is, with 30% of students saying they feel completely unprepared for an IR 4.0 work environment.

More than half of the graduates surveyed also felt that organisations are not ready for a new generation joining the workforce, citing the unwillingness of companies to adopt new frameworks.

The study, done in July, was completed by 560 individuals consisting of over 100 fresh graduates, 100 parents and more than 300 Inti students.

It came amid the government’s efforts to equip the nation for the transition to IR 4.0, with allocations of more than RM5 billion set aside last year.

Acting Inti CEO Tan Lin Nah said the results of the study were a wake-up call, emphasising the importance of the education sector and industry in shaping talents capable of competing in an IR 4.0 environment.

“Beyond academic excellence, we are also responsible for building future talent and ensuring positive employability outcomes,” said Tan.

IDC Asia Pacific research manager Jensen Ooi spoke of a need to communicate more about IR 4.0 and its application in academic institutions, adding that proper knowledge of the matter would help students choose the right career path.

He said IT skills should be taught across all streams to prepare students for future jobs, with some subjects made mandatory for all majors in tertiary institutions.

“The teaching of technology skills should be given more prominence across all levels of education, in anticipation of future jobs,” said Ooi.

He noted the need for education institutions to equip students with relevant skill sets such as critical thinking, technological skills and decision-making instead of just academic knowledge.

Ooi also encouraged students to obtain in-demand certificates while completing their studies as a way to prepare for future jobs.

“It is a fast-moving industry, which is why we must continue to prepare students to keep up with the changes,” he said.