Are Malaysians Really Struggling In Learning A New Skill?

Three-in-five respondents (61%) said that it has been a struggle to acquire new skills in their current role to adapt to the pandemic. 

are malaysians really struggling in learning a new skill?Photo via India Today

This sentiment is the highest among younger workers (aged 18 to 24 years old), with 69% facing difficulties to acquire new skills in this climate; as opposed to 49% of respondents aged 55 to 67 years old. 

Randstad Malaysia recently released the second edition of its 2020 Workmonitor survey, which highlights the greatest concerns and challenges candidates are facing in the employment market. The survey was conducted in October last year across 34 markets around the world, with a minimum of 400 respondents in each market. 

are malaysians really struggling in learning a new skill?Photo via Institution for Social Research

#1 Employees and employers need to keep pace with changing skills requirements 

“The rapid digital transformation we experienced in 2020 has driven the demand for professionals equipped with transferable technical knowledge and soft skills,” said Fahad Naeem, Head of Operations at Randstad Malaysia.

“The opportunity to learn stakeholder management skills, new systems as well as resource planning is critical to the career development of younger workers. As these learning opportunities diminish during remote working, the onus is on the employer to create new learning opportunities and drive employee engagement initiatives,” he added.

To enhance their own employability in an increasingly competitive labour market, nine-in-10 respondents regularly refresh their skills and competencies. 

Job and skills requirements, even for the same job titles, have changed significantly pre-and-post pandemic as a result of digital transformation. In the long term, an unskilled workforce can mean a smaller talent pool for employers to tap on. Already, seven-in-10 respondents believe that employers will have trouble finding the right talent in the future. 

are malaysians really struggling in learning a new skill?Photo via Vector Stock

#2 Workers are attracted to working environments that provide learning and development 

More than one-in-five respondents (55%) want to work in an open environment where they can safely share and receive constructive feedback. 

Additionally, 41% of respondents are attracted to employers that provide employee training programmes. 

“People learn better when they have the opportunity to resolve real business issues and challenges. Through guidance from mentors, constructive feedback from clients and colleagues, as well as an opportunity to participate in new projects, employees are able to acquire new skills and gain valuable experiences,” Naeem explained.

“Employees will also feel more valued when their employers are as equally committed to their career success. It is hence critical for companies to have a learning culture that is focused on skills development so that they can have an agile workforce that is always ready to respond regardless of the crisis that they face.” 

Picking up new skills can be intimidating, but your ability to learn new skills just comes down to motivation and it's never (ever!) too late!

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat