More than nine in 10 (91%) employees surveyed in Malaysia intend to upskill or reskill in the next 12 months, Randstad's latest 2020 COVID-19 labour pulse survey revealed. 

The survey, which involved 531 Malaysia-based working professionals in end-June and early July, aimed to understand the local workforce's sentiments towards the employment market this year, and the challenges/experiences faced by jobseekers, given the ongoing COVID-19 situation. 

Five reasons why Malaysians want to upskill and reskill

Of the 91% above, more than half (55%) said this would help them prepare for how automation and digitisation will affect their future, while about one-fifth (21%) are considering changing their career or industry they work in.

At the same time, 13% mentioned the fear of losing their current jobs due to redundancy, while a lower percentage (8%) would do so as they feel their current employer is not financially stable enough.

Lastly, 4% cited a significant change in job responsibilities

Interestingly, the survey also found that of the one-fifth above who were considering a change in career/industry, nearly half (48%) would be willing to take on jobs with a lower salary.

Close to six in 10 are actively looking for a job

Apart from the above, the survey also revealed that 58% of respondents were actively looking for a job, of which the two top reasons were either a desire to change careers/industries (24%), or that they were unsatisfied with their current pay and were looking for a higher-paying job (20%).

The remaining reasons cited were:

  • Their skills and experiences no longer matched their current job requirements (13%)
  • They were unsatisfied with their employer's response to COVID-19 (9%)
  • They had received a pay cut or bonus freeze in 2020 (8%)
  • Their job scopes had changed too much due to COVID-19 )5%)
  • They have poor working relationships with their managers or colleagues (4%)

Of the remaining 42% who were not actively looking for a job, a larger proportion (29%) said they wanted to wait until after the pandemic ends, before deciding whether to do so; and 27% were afraid of not being able to find another job due to the 'poor' market conditions.

More than half are willing to accept a job with a lower salary

Given the current market conditions, job seekers are more open to accepting a lower-paying job, as long as it meets some of their expectations, the survey noted. In fact, mid-career switchers and fresh graduates are also adjusting their salary expectations, to make up for the lack of required skills and experience in meeting job expectations.

Overall, more than half (52%) said they were willing to accept a job with a lower salary, will the remaining were not willing to do so.

Photo / 123RF

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