Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Malaysia: Older Workers Less Confident about Future; Government Encourages Retraining

While a large majority of Malaysians feel safe in their present jobs, confidence declines with age. According to a Gallup International Association poll, 84% of Malaysians were optimistic about their job security with only Norway (85%) scoring higher in a survey of 61 countries. However, only two in 10 respondents over 51 years old thought they could find a job fairly quickly compared to four out of 10 of those below 30 years.

In response to the Gallup survey, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Fong Chan Onn said that employers need to continuously retrain their workers to keep them relevant, especially the older ones who are set in their ways. Fong suggests that this can help them to adapt to technological and work habit changes. According to a story by Teresa Yong in THe New Straits Times, Fong said: "It is very important for employers to continue retraining and upgrading the expertise of the older group of workers. We also need to re-orientate all categories of workers." Fong also advised older workers to adopt lifelong learning and pointed out that the Human Resources Development Bhd had training programmes for workers of all ages.

Sources: Malaysia Today "Malaysians score high in survey" (January 15, 2008); The New Straits Times "Keep older workers relevant through retraining, employers told" (January 16, 2008)

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