As the Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR 4.0) or known as the digital transformation of industrial markets take over the world rapidly, it is only apt that Malaysian organisations too have been enthusiastic about embedding this change. The IR 4.0 brings with it a host of 9 main pillars of technological breakthroughs in artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, the Internet of things (IoT), big data analytics, autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology and many more.
Therefore since 2017, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) has been vigorously promoting and insistent to organisations to adopt and adapt to this new technological era. The HRDF is an organisation that constantly invests in various upskilling and capacity-building programmes for all sectors, particularly the small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) nationwide. For everyone, the moment of change comes with the embracement of growth, resilience and renewal. Therefore, companies and industries now have a monumental task ahead of them and must keep abreast with the latest technologies and innovations that affect the industry.
The HRDF has a Sectorial Training Committee which assesses the industry needs and matches them to the right certification programmes in addressing existing industrial issues for example skills shortage, talent hiring, retention and management, change management and moving skilled workers up the career ladder by multi-skilling them. It is hoped that this governmental initiative to fund reskilling and upskilling programmes will encourage employers to train their staff via certification programmes that are recognised by professional bodies.
But how about the most valuable and sustainable asset of an organisation: its employees? The stumbling block to the country wholly embracing IR 4.0 is the local industry and the workforce who are still not ready to take that step towards this new reality. In order to help prepare the nation’s human capital for the revolution, employers must look at reskilling, upskilling and multi-skilling their employees in order to equip each staff to go beyond their job scope when the need arises. This is contradictory to the conventional ideology, which was to train staff within the parameters of their specific job scope instead.