BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – As technology facilitates more efficiency, there is a fear that certain jobs are at risk of redundancy, an official from the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry (MEMI) said.

Speaking during a forum titled Future Ready Youths during the Youth Congress 2019 on Sunday, MEMI’s Head of Manpower Strategy Marzalinie Hj Omar said that although a number of jobs will be liquidated due to advancement in technology, new jobs will be created at the same time.

She outlined several sectors that are at risk including transportation and storage, manufacturing and administration as well as support services.

Marzalinie binti Haji Omar, Director of Manpower Strategy, MEMI speaks during a National Youth Congress 2019 forum on June 16. Photo: Hazimul Wa’ie/The Scoop

“Digital platforms support instant business opportunities for entrepreneurs. Therefore creating an ecosystem towards entrepreneurship is one critical approach,” she said, noting that this is a factor we can all take advantage of in this digital era.

“This is what we need to look at… what new jobs will be available and how [to] prepare for them.”

Citing reports from the World Bank, Marzalinie shared that sectors which won’t be affected include accommodation and retail services, health, social work and education.

“The more soft skills a job requires, the more resistant it is to job automation. In this digital age and upcoming industrial revolution, advanced socio-emotional skills are becoming more important,” she said.

These skills include effective communication, entrepreneurship, access and ability to analyse information, curiousity, collaboration and influence, mental agility, critical thinking as well as problem solving.

“Individuals would need to excel in tasks where intelligence can’t match their performance, skills that are uniquely human.”

The MEMI official recommended three strategies and approaches to youths to prepare for the changes, starting with the first one: linking manpower supply and demand.

“We must find out what the jobs are and how you can prepare for them in terms of demand and supply.”

“The process of preparing for manpower supply would be a continuous cycle that follows the industry’s revolution to ensure that we produce industry ready or even an economy ready workforce.”

The second approach is increasing employability and marketability of people through resilient attributes or skills due to the uncertainty of jobs.

“Cross-functional and cross-transferable skills are valuable… If you have resilient attributes like critical thinking and ability to analyse data then you are agile and will be able to move from one job to another.”

The last approach is lifelong learning, the ability of the workforce to continuously adapt to the changing environment.

“This approach is to create an ecosystem that can develop sustainable lifelong learning for the workforce including up-skilling, re-skilling and retraining.”