(File pix) Malaysia’s great strength is the quality of its vocational and technical skills, which is bac ked up by it educational systems and particularly the effective way in which companies develop those skills.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia made it into the top 30 rankings of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2017. At the 28th position, it edged out many high-income countries such as South Korea (29th), Portugal (31st), Spain (35th), and Italy (40th).

Paul Evans, who is co-editor of the report, announced this today during GTCI’s regional launch at graduate business school INSEAD Asia campus in Singapore.

Evans remarked that Malaysia’s great strength is the quality of its vocational and technical skills, which is backed up by it educational systems and particularly the effective way in which companies develop those skills.

“It is a leader here in Asia. One sees this with strong employability indicators.

“For example the educational system is viewed by business leaders as highly relevant to the needs of the economy, and companies can easily find employees with the skills they need,” he said, in response to queries by the NST Business Times.

The skill gap today is much smaller than for example in Singapore or particularly China and South Korea, where companies experienced more difficulty in finding the skilled employees that they need.

Evans, who is the Shell Chair Professor of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Emeritus, at INSEAD added:

“Malaysia performs particularly well in the pillars of the enabling context and vocational and technical skills. It also does well on external openness as it has been able to attract talent from overseas.

“In addition, in terms of talent readiness for technology, Malaysia ranks higher than South Korea even though the IT infrastructure of the latter is much superior.”

Malaysia, he added, can boost its rankings if it further improves in internal openness in terms of tolerance of minorities.

As for Singapore, it retained its top spot in Asia Pacific for the fourth consecutive year in the GTCI 2017.

Produced in partnership with the Adecco Group and the Human Capital Leadership Institute of Singapore (HCLI), the GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent.

Focusing on “Talent and Technology”, the 2017 report explores the effects of technological change on talent competitiveness and the future of work, arguing that while jobs at all levels continue to be replaced by machines, technology is also creating new opportunities.

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