KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 15): Malaysia has been ranked 55th in the World Bank’s 2018 human capital index, lagging behind Singapore which topped the list.
Malaysia scored a total 0.62 versus Singapore’s 0.88.
Singapore came in first ahead of South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Finland.
Chad was at the bottom of the list with a score of 0.29.
The index is measured in terms of the productivity of the next generation of workers relative to the benchmark of complete education and full health.
An economy in which the average worker achieves both full health and full education potential will score a value of 1 on the index.
The World Bank in its World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work released last Friday said greater investments in people’s health and education are urgent in a rapidly evolving labor market increasingly shaped by technology.
World Bank group president Kim Jim Yong said the nature of work is not only changing, but changing rapidly.
“We don’t know what jobs children in primary school today will compete for, because many of those jobs don’t exist yet.
“The great challenge is to equip them with the skills they’ll need no matter what future jobs look like – skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking, as well as interpersonal skills like empathy and collaboration.
“By measuring countries according to how well they’re investing in their people, we hope to help governments take active steps to better prepare their people to compete in the economy of the future,” he said.
The report said the number of robots operating worldwide is rising rapidly, the report says, stoking fears of a jobs meltdown.
But it said technology is laying down a path to create jobs, increase productivity and deliver effective public services.
The World Bank said fears surrounding innovation, which has already transformed living standards, are unfounded.
The report said digital technology spurs rapid innovation and growth, disrupting old production patterns and blurring the boundaries of firms.
New business models, such as digital platforms, evolve at dizzying speed from local start-ups to global behemoths - often with few tangible assets or employees.
The report futher added that four out of five people in developing countries have never known what it means to live with social protection.
It said with two billion people working in the informal sector, unprotected by stable wage employment, social welfare, or the benefits of education – new working patterns are adding to a dilemma that predates the latest technological wave.
The report challenged governments to take better care of their citizens, calling for a universal guaranteed minimum level of social protection.
It said full social inclusion will be costly, but it can be achieved with reforms in labor market regulation in some countries and, globally, a long overdue overhaul of taxation policy.