Exploring Malaysia's dynamic job landscape for entry-Level professionals

10 Oct 2023 07:30am
Photo for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX
Photo for illustrative purposes - FILE PIX

SHAH ALAM - Malaysia, like any developing country in the world, offers a wide and vibrant range of job opportunities, and companies are actively seeking to hire talents, specifically those with entry-level qualifications.

However, in times of economic downturns experienced by the country, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia and Ukraine conflicts, businesses found it challenging to simply hire new talent.

Employment rates for the private sector currently remained at a stable rate of 3.4 per cent in July 2023, with GDPs projected to be at four to five per cent.

Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) president Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman shares why Malaysia needs entry-level workers across sectors such as healthcare, banking and tourism, plantation and agriculture, construction, and mining.

He said Malaysia’s domestic economy remains vibrant, with many indicators showing healthy trends, with unemployed persons in July 2023 decreasing by 0.4 per cent to 579,200 persons compared to 581,700 in June 2023.

“Loss of employment remains low at 33,501 persons as of Sept 2023. The number of vacancies is at a high of 1,595,519 as of Sept 2023, which far exceeded the number of registered job seekers, which was recorded at 336,855,” he said.

Who is affected the most by this?

Syed Hussain stated that low-skilled workers were mostly affected by the lack of companies hiring or by increased competition with a mismatch of skills and requirements.

"Youths, especially those with academic degrees, may struggle to secure entry-level positions due to increased competition and mismatches in skills and requirements across industries.

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“Industries with low-skilled workers may experience a slowdown in hiring or even layoffs. There is an urgent need for low-skilled workers to upskill and reskill to ensure they will continue to remain relevant to market needs,” he said.

However, he said that those unable to gain entry-level positions may attempt to find alternative income-generating activities.

“Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were around 500,000 gig workers, and the numbers rose during the pandemic, and now it is estimated that there are around four million gig workers,” he said.

What is currently the best field?

Syed Hussain listed some sectors that offered better opportunities, and they were related to high-technology and information technology (IT) services, healthcare and medical services, e-commerce and digital marketing, renewable energy, as well as the tourism and hotel industries.

He said there were varying types of education, which could relate to those with academic degrees who struggled to secure entry-level positions.

Gig workers were now more prominent, and there was a likely shift towards increasing personal skills like interpersonal skills through communication.

There was also a need for those in the entry-level sector to improve on their skills, with the current economic landscape pushing more towards redundancy if they were to fall behind with their skills and expertise, especially in industries where changes to government policies or the software used in performing their tasks.