Up to 54% of current jobs will be affected by automation, says Kula

Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran.

KUALA LUMPUR: Human Resources Minister M Kula Segaran said displacement of human labour by automation, robots and artificial intelligence will see an estimated 11- 54% of current jobs in Malaysia being significantly affected in the next two decades.

“Nearly 50% of companies expect automation to lead to some reduction in their full-time workforce by 2022.

“They intend to engage workers in a more flexible manner, utilising remote staffing and decentralising operations,” Kula said when participating in a panel discussion on the “Workforce For The Future” at the National Economic Forum held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here today.

The theme of the forum is “Empowering Public-Private Collaboration — Buiding A Competitive Nation”.

The minister said 80% of the jobs at high risk of being displaced by technology are those that are semi-skilled.

“Malaysia and the Asean region are vulnerable to technological disruptions due to the high concentration of labour-intensive manufacturing and service jobs.

“These are at risk of being replaced with automation and digital technologies.”

Therefore, he said Malaysia needs to move up the high-skill value chain and be flexible enough to adapt to new ideas, innovations and technologies.

“There is a very urgent need to ensure there are highly-skilled workers capable of driving innovation and supporting our economic future.

“As of Q1 2019, only 27.8% of Malaysia’s workforce (or 4.17 million people) are considered highly-skilled,” said Kula.