As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Training & Development is not just merely an impartial department in any organisation but an integral part of an organisation acting as a long-term investment and growth strategy. In addition, it functions as an investment tool towards gearing employees to retain competitiveness by up-skilling their skills and knowledge development.
It is essential for organisations to have checks and balances during every investment in ensuring their money is well invested and profitable as reported by Aviana & Enrico in 2004 (Information Systems for the Evaluation of the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Vocational Training Programmes). Ironically, the biggest inhibitor in investing either an in-house, internal, or attending a public training program is the perception that it pointlessly involves cost and time. However, training should not be deemed as an option but a crucial mandatory strategy for any company. Staff training necessitates upfront investment, but the benefits will lead to increased productivity, which correlates to profitability. Training and development also aids a company to remain pertinent.
The next industrial age, Industry 4.0, which first began in 2011 vigorously focuses on automation and digitalisation promotes computerisation of manufacturing. These state-of-the-art technologies will reshape the future of employment as robots will eliminate the need for workforce in repetitive jobs, enhance productivity, and ultimately help sluggish economies. Reported by The Star in July 2017 (Training the Workforce for Industry 4.0) technological advancements in Malaysia anticipate the loss of 65% of current jobs by 2027 as most of the local workforce is not equipped for Industry 4.0.
However as alarming as it sounds, the 2017 World Economic Forum (WEF) which congregated 700 global collaborators; assured that Industry 4.0 would in fact generate new categories of jobs, require new skillsets and transform the way people work. Current technological trends are bringing about change at an unprecedented rate. It is estimated that nearly 50% of subject knowledge acquired by the first-year student from a four-year technical degree will be outdated by the time the student graduates. Thus, the importance of training and development is imperative for our Malaysian workforce to be up-skilled, reskilled, and multi-skilled so that we may advance into this new industrial age well-prepared.