There is a significant distinction between employment and employability. While the opportunities for employment are aplenty in Malaysia, it is equally important to identify the demands and requirements of the said jobs.
Creating a progressive society means developing a critical mass of highly employable talent. As many seek for their dream jobs, employers too look for “dream worker” who can meet the demands of the industry – from the technical, moral and professional standpoints.
Let’s look at the employer-employee relationship from both perspectives. The modern corporate world has evolved to a point where there is a need to create work-life balance for employees – a lack thereof leads to increased health hazards, reduced productivity, etc.
In the past few years, the debate about wage gaps had continuously recurred, indicating public sentiment that Malaysians were largely underpaid compared with more advanced nations. Unfortunately, it is not just a matter of regulation, but rather a sense of value between two parties.
Any contract between two or more consenting parties must be as fair as possible by protecting the interest of all involved.
In an employment contract, the employer pays a certain fee (or salary) in exchange for services rendered by the employee and the employee by obtaining a fixed income. Conflict arises when the employee feels overworked, exploited or undercompensated or the employee’s performance becomes an issue for the company.
Now, perspective is key to a positive way forward. The tipping point for a healthy employer-employee relationship is often not the price, but more about the value of the relationship.
While it is natural for direct or indirect revenue to be generated from an employment contract, the employee increases the image and value, and new capacities and capabilities of the organisation’s arsenal. In return, the company absorbs the risks of employment to provide an environment of financial security and continuous learning for the employee.
This synergy from the employee-employer relationship is what pushes both towards higher income and greater capabilities over time.
However, one thing has changed – while job opportunities are increasing, the ability to fill them has evolved as we progress through Industry 4.0. Today, skills training are highly specialized and require a reinvention of adult learning to keep up with the demand of the fast-paced learning curve.
It, therefore, becomes highly important to address employability of our current workforce by ensuring relevance and competitiveness in the future.
Malaysia Automotive Robotics and IoT Institute has implemented several programmes to cater to rapidly changing learning curves through the Industry Led Professional Certificate and the Automotive Industry Certificate Engineering.
These programmes not only add current industrial dimensions through modules in IATF 16949, automotive core tools and a deep understanding of the five sectors of the automotive industry, but also advanced subjects in Internet of Things and robotics specific to component manufacturing processes within the automotive supply chain. This includes original equipment manufacturing-specific processes within body, paint and assembly works.
Trainees will be exposed to the underlying programming and coding needed to achieve the productivity levels of automotive manufacturing in line with Industry 4.0.
More importantly, the trainees undergo on-job-training with the industry for six to eight months, as future competency is not only based on skills and knowledge, but also passion, motivation and culture that can only be inculcated through first-hand experience on the job.
At the end of the day, employment is not an activity, but a relationship and experience that enriches the individual. It works to develop the society as a whole.
This Ramadhan, let us self-reflect and re-evaluate our values – identifying our weaknesses, strengthening our advantages, and remembering those in need.
The writer is the chief executive officer of Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii)