KUALA LUMPUR – Governments, universities and the private sector must work together to create education and skills development programmes that will supply the market with qualified graduates and professionals in information and communication technology (ICT) skills, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said lack of ICT skills would be the bottleneck that prevented governments from being competitive in the global economy and a leading innovation society.
He said the future of any economy depended on its ability to become a leading knowledge economy and an innovation society which relied on the capabilities of its workforce to be innovative and work efficiently using new technologies to their best effect.
“Because the way every industry – from health care to manufacturing to education – is now being transformed by cheap, fast, connected computing power, the skill required for every decent job is rising, as is the necessity of lifelong learning.
“Job seekers, employees and managers need to prepare themselves for this change.
“If you don’t come well educated, familiar with the latest technology, but also ready to learn whatever is new, you are not likely to find a good-paying, career-shaping job,” he said when closing the Umno International Forum 2014 here today.
The two-day forum, themed “A Hyperconnected World: Challenges in Nation Building”, featured 127 foreign delegates from 34 parties in 22 countries.
Muhyiddin said UMNO leaders must understand the impact of hyperconnectivity or the use of multiple means of communication to better engage and serve the people.
“Hyperconnectivity has not spared our own field of politics. Political campaigns are increasingly being run on the digital platform, and politicians are reaching out to voters using the social media.
“All these seem possible digitally – fundraising, advertising without advertising, personalisation, and it has worked,” he said.
Look at United States President Barack Obama who changed the face of campaign marketing in 2008 when he used social media to help raise over half a billion dollars online, he said.
Muhyiddin said political parties and governments were not the only ones struggling to make sense of hyperconnectivity, but also companies, even large and established ones.
“In a study done late last year, the business-oriented social networking service, Linkedln, found that the top five hottest skills in the job market include social media, marketing, mobile development, cloud computing and data mining and analysis.
“In view of this, the ball is back in our court – the governments and policy makers. How do we ensure that the job market has enough supply workers with these skills,” he added. – BERNAMA