MDEC’S enhances digital skills training directory

Signs up with LinkedIn to further push digital talent.

There is urgent need for companies to reskill their workers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting shift in socio-economic norms.

According to a 2021 McKinsey Global Survey, most respondents say that skill building – more than hiring, contracting or redeploying employees – is the best way to close the skills gap across industries. These companies have also doubled down on their efforts to reskill or upskill their employees since the pandemic began.

Reskilling and upskilling employees is also vital for companies embracing digitalisation. The Future of Jobs Report 2020 by the World Economic Forum indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly accelerated the digitalisation of work processes, which increases the necessity of upskilling and reskilling employees in digital skills.

The report additionally forecasted that 50 percent of all employees will need reskilling by 2025. The skills in demand would be Data Analysts, Scientists, Internet of Things (IoT) Specialists, Digital Transformation Specialists, and Cybersecurity Specialists.

“There has never been more urgent need for companies to reskill and upskill their employees. This doesn’t just concern large companies – a 2019 SME report from Huawei Malaysia revealed that 48% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) recognise they lack digital skills,” said Dr Sumitra Nair, Vice President and Head of Digital Skills and Jobs, MDEC, Malaysia’s lead agency in digital transformation.

“While there are increasingly large numbers of training and reskilling resources that companies can tap into, finding the right course or online training provider can prove challenging. The Digital Skills Training Directory, launched by MDEC, helps companies to more easily discover training courses that meet their reskilling and upskilling needs,” Dr Sumitra continued.

Launched in 24 August 2020, the Digital Skills Training Directory serves as a one-stop guide to digital reskilling and upskilling. It is a catalogue of courses and online training providers that have been specifically reviewed and endorsed by MDEC’s Talent Expert Network (TEN) to guide talents in selecting courses that meet their career needs for jobs in the digital economy. TEN consists of a group of industry representatives who are subject matter experts in various digital technology domains.

For 2021, the Digital Skills Training Directory is categorised into three types of courses: Work and Learn, Career Upgrade, and Learning on Demand. The latter is the latest addition to the Digital Skills Talent Directory, coming with a list of 9 massive open online courses (MOOCs) platform partners. They are Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE), OpenLearning Global (M) Sdn. Bhd, LinkedIn Learning, EC-Council  CodeRed, Leaderonomics Digital Sdn Bhd, 360DigiTMG (AiSPRY), Akademi GA Sdn Bhd, SAS Institute Sdn Bhd and LTT Global Communications Sdn Bhd.

Now updated and enhanced, the Digital Skills Training Directory has recently been expanded to offer 250 courses, covering the following focus areas:

  • Data science (56 courses)
  • Cybersecurity (44 courses)
  • Animation (19 courses)
  • Game Development (5 courses)
  • Software Development (56 courses)

Digital Global Business Services is the latest focus area with 77 courses introduced.

The Directory has been recognised by the Social Security Organisation (SOCSO), and will fund up to RM4,000 per person for selected courses pursued by Employment Insurance Scheme (EIS) members who are receiving unemployment benefits. Courses offered by HRDC-approved Training Providers have also been highlighted to help employers to identify courses that can be funded via HRDF levies.

Additionally, selected courses offering certification are also eligible for funding of up to RM7,000 under the PENJANA 2.0 Hiring Incentive (RM4,000 max for the apprentice category).

Training courses listed on MDEC’s Digital Skills Training Directory can be funded under the MyDigitalWorkforce Work in Tech (MYWiT) initiative, a training and hiring incentive programme aimed at developing quality tech talents as well as boosting the digital business services sector.

An extension of the #MyDigitalWorkforce Movement launched by MDEC last year, the initiative aims to upskill and subsidise talents and businesses with RM100 million in training and salary incentives. Under this initiative, there are 2 programmes: Digital Business Services (DBS) and Digital Tech Apprenticeship (DTA). Besides salary subsidies, companies participating in DBS can choose courses listed in “Work and Learn” or “Learning on Demand” and claim training incentive up to RM5,000 per pax and for DTA companies can choose courses listed in “Career Upgrade” and claim training incentive up to RM8,000 per pax.  Companies can apply for MYWiT at

“Through initiatives like the Digital Skills Training Directory and MYWiT, MDEC continues to pursue our mandate in support of the Malaysia Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL), as well as MDEC’s own vision of a Malaysia 5.0 – a nation deeply integrated with technology that empowers sustainability, inclusivity and shared prosperity,” concludes Dr Sumitra.

MDEC recently signed an agreement with LinkedIn to further enhance the digital presence of businesses and develop digital talents in the country.

Inked on 22 July 2021, the MoU focuses on two strategic fronts: Enhancing Digital Presence and Equipping Digital Talents. Firstly, it will see MDEC and LinkedIn working together to enhance the online presence of local companies, to ensure that they remain relevant and effective in the present digital landscape.

This aspect of the MoU will involve several activities, including webinars to enhance the companies’ LinkedIn page, as well as setting up international corporate pages on the platform for local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to expand their regional and global reach.

Secondly, the MoU will also see both parties engage in various initiatives to develop digital talents for Malaysia. This includes the ongoing Let’s Learn Digital 2021 programme, which sees LinkedIn offering the Digital Marketing Pathway course for Malaysians.

LinkedIn will also be coordinating with MDEC to bring its popular ‘Rock Your Profile’ sessions to lecturers and students of MDEC’s Premier Digital Tech Institutions (PDTIs). ‘Rock Your Profile’ sessions provide tips on how LinkedIn users can realise the full creative potential of a LinkedIn profile, on top of insider advice on profile, long-form posts, and other LinkedIn tools that agency professionals are using to increase their productivity and success.

Many Malaysian enterprises already understand the importance of an online presence for their business. According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), companies with web presence have increased from 37.8 percent in 2017 to 53.9 percent in 2019.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven even wider digitalisation locally and internationally, which necessitates more innovative and effective means of standing out.

“Two ingredients that are fast becoming essential for companies today are a strong digital presence and competent digital talents. To that end, this partnership between MDEC and LinkedIn can help ensure local businesses remain globally competitive, in line with the goals of the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint (MyDIGITAL).

“Additionally, the job landscape is set for a massive shift. According to the WEF Future of Jobs Report, 97 million new jobs will be created and 50 percent of employees will require retraining by 2025. This strategic partnership with LinkedIn is another testament of MDEC’s continued efforts to engage global tech companies to address industry challenges in the digital economy and foster a strong digital workforce as we strive to support Malaysia’s economic recovery and provide equitable digital opportunities to the people and businesses,” said Surina Shukri, CEO, MDEC.

“COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of digital platforms across Southeast Asia. This digital transformation has led to many changes in the workforce, for example, it has driven the adoption of new business practices amongst companies in Malaysia.





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