GEORGE TOWN, Aug 29 — Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today said that the federal government should focus on talent development under Budget 2023 in order for the country to remain competitive.
The Penang lawmaker said there is currently a talent crisis faced by various sectors in the country.
Chow pointed out the federal government had previously focused on health, education, infrastructure development and digitalisation.
"Talent development is something we need to focus on as well so we hope there is good news in terms of talent development,” he said in a press conference after officiating the new EY office here this morning.
He hoped more funds will be allocated for vocational training and skill centres to train skilled workers.
"If we are unable to upskill our talent, we will lose out,” he said, in response to a question on the state’s wish list for Budget 2023.
He said investors look at many factors but a skilled talent pool will help the country stand out in competition with other countries in the region.
Chow also said basic issues such as foreign labour recruitment have yet to be resolved.
"How can we move forward to continue to capture investments if we do not address issues such as foreign labour?"
He suggested that incentives be introduced for foreign students already living and staying to work here.
"They would be an asset to the talent pipeline in our country since we face a dearth of talent,” he said.
He said there are thousands of foreign citizens already studying in local universities here.
"They should be given incentives to work here for another three to five years,” he added.