PROPOSAL TO ALLOW FOREIGN GRADUATES TO WORK A SHORT-TERM SOLUTION TO ADDRESS SHORTAGE OF SKILLED WORKERS
The proposal to allow foreign graduates of local institutes of higher education (IHE) to work temporarily in the country in certain fields such as the high-tech sector could further boost Malaysia's education sector as an income generator for the country.
Investment, Trade and Industry Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said that this year foreign students in Malaysia are estimated to spend RM7.3 billion a year.
"The Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) has been working with the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Human Resources, the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as well as various other agencies to increase the number of students and skilled workers in the high-tech field.
"As an example are collaborative projects that improve the skills of our graduates such as training programmes with industry," he said in a video posting on X (previously known as Twitter).
Tengku Zafrul said such skilled workers are needed now.
"Investors cannot wait four more years. For example, the electrical and electronics industry needs 50,000 engineers. Our IHE so far only produces 5,000 graduates a year. So to meet the demand of the industry will take time.
"If investors want graduates in artificial intelligence (AI), for example, we cannot provide them candidates with political science degrees. After all, they (foreign graduates) also understand our work culture, which makes them the right choice," he said.
He added that by allowing foreign graduates of local institutes of higher education to work temporarily in the country, the local industry will get the necessary supply of skilled manpower.
"Local IHE (can) be empowered in the international arena and our local graduates will continue to be given opportunities when they are ready," he added.