Today, there is without a doubt a global skills shortage. This is not because there are fewer skilled and professional workers in the global workforce. Rather, it is due to the insane pace by which new technology and innovations are shaping every industry.

The Industrial Revolution 4.0 brought with it a boom in tech such as automation and AI. These new innovations, if utilised properly, would be able to streamline and massively increase the efficiency of organisations and businesses. However, optimal utilisation of such high-end tech also requires high-end skills.

Unfortunately, the speed at which these new technologies are being developed, along with the pace at which companies are digitally transforming, is causing the global skills gap. Learning the functionalities and applications of high-end tech is time consuming. If things continue as they are now, the rate of technological advancement will simply continue to outpace the rate by which we train new high-skill professionals.

As such, organisations attempted to find solutions to ensure that digital and technical competency is not outrun by technology. One such example can be seen in Penang, Malaysia; where Siemens Digital Industries Software recently launched its South East Asian Technical Competency Hub.

Initiatives such as these serve not only as development centres for global projects delivery and R&D, but also serves the purpose of helping and encouraging local and regional businesses with regards to their digital transformation; both in terms of technology as well as skill competency.

The IR4.0 is no longer just a lofty goal for developing economies such as Malaysia and other ASEAN nations; they have become a reality. With the highly unstable nature of the current global economy, the world is looking towards Southeast Asia as the next hotbed for manufacturing and technological innovation. As such, we can expect only more initiatives such as these to occur in the future.

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