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PRESS RELEASE September 12, 2019

Malaysia’s ‘Critical Occupations List’ is an Innovative Tool for Preparing Workers for the Jobs of the Future: World Bank

KUALA LUMPUR, September 12, 2019 – Malaysia’s Critical Occupations List (COL) is an innovative platform for keeping abreast of changing labor market demands associated with new technologies, automation, and Industry 4.0, according to a new World Bank report Monitoring Occupational Shortages: Lessons from Malaysia’s Critical Occupations List, launched here today.

Updated and released yearly, the COL is a mechanism for coordinating human capital development policies by identifying occupations with significant labor market shortages. The government can use the COL to calibrate skills development policies to meet emerging labor market demands.

"The Mid-Term Review of the Eleventh Malaysia Plan accords the COL a central place in Malaysia’s labor market development. By identifying labor market needs as they arise, the COL is a powerful policy tool that can be used by government, private sector, academia, job creators and job seekers alike," said M. Kulasegaran, Human Resources Minister of Malaysia. "Our collaboration with the World Bank to create the COL was critical for its evolution into a best practice tool for labor market observation and analysis.

The COL is updated and released yearly by the Critical Skills Monitoring Committee (CSC), led by TalentCorp and the Institute of Labor Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA) under the Ministry of Human Resources (MOHR).

"Malaysia’s experience with the Critical Occupations List shows that effective skills monitoring can help expedite the process of addressing labor market shortages. The country’s experience also has important lessons for other countries that are looking for ways to monitor skills shortages in a fast-changing labor market,” said Firas Raad, World Bank Group Representative to Malaysia and Country Manager. "We look forward to collaborating more with the Ministry of Human Resources, ILMIA and Talent Corp to help strengthen labor market outcomes in the country."

The report also provides recommendations for future versions of the COL. The first recommendation is to consider subnational disaggregation to make the COL more robust and to cater to distinct labor market demand at the state level. The second recommendation is that government and other data providers invest in standardized occupational data to better harmonize information, making it easier to incorporate other data sources into future versions of the COL.

This publication, produced by the World Bank Group Global Knowledge and Research Hub, is part of its Malaysia Development Experience Series which aims to capture key lessons from Malaysia’s own development experience for the benefit of for developing countries around the globe as they transition into higher levels of national income and shared prosperity.



Joshua Foong
Lee Min Hui