KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s manufacturing sector is steady and strong but in dire need of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talents.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed explained that the government is focusing on producing more local talents in the STEM field to help address challenges faced by the sector.
According to him, the manufacturing sector is one of the key industries with the ability to integrate into the global value chain. However, the industry is still lacking in skilled manpower, especially scientists, technologists, and engineers.
He stated that the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP) aims to build the foundation that would enable Malaysia to become a high-income nation by 2025. To achieve the goal, it is vital to develop a highly skilled workforce that can satisfy industry demands.
Consequently, STEM enrolment is still the focal point on that path to transition Malaysia into a developed country, he added.
Mustapa made the remarks during the official launching of the National Forum on STEM by Special Taskforce to Facilitate Business (PEMUDAH), the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, and Malaysia Productivity Corporation (MPC) recently. The theme for the forum is “STEM Education: Key to Manufacturing Innovation.”
Aside from that, the minister explained that the strength of Malaysia’s manufacturing industry is related to the nation’s ability to produce top local talents in the STEM-related fields, allowing the sector to potentially integrate itself more significantly into the global value chain.
“This can be accomplished by placing a greater emphasis on design and development in manufacturing operations. New technological solutions are required to advance the sector. These improvements in technology, supply chain, and management will enhance the productivity and quality of manufacturing processes; hence, industry players must be proactive in their adoption of new technologies,” he continued.
Additionally, he emphasised on the significance of cultivating a workforce with skills and expertise in STEM-related disciplines. These local talents are essential to bolster Malaysia’s manufacturing industry and the country’s economy as a whole.
Meanwhile, also at the event, MPC director-general Datuk Abdul Latif Abu Seman stated that the corporation is committed to supporting the government’s STEM workforce development plan.
He said that talent is one of the most important productivity drivers and improving the local talent pool increases productivity growth.
“MPC and PEMUDAH will collaborate in this area. Through the Productivity Nexus initiatives, the MPC will develop innovative partnerships with key players in the manufacturing industry to create more STEM talents,” he explained.
Join our Telegram group for the latest updates!