Address skills gap, low-tech SMEs to move up FDI value chain



a close up of a computer screen: AI specialists and data scientists are, among others, in high demand. - File pic


© Provided by New Straits Times
AI specialists and data scientists are, among others, in high demand. – File pic

COVID-19 has stemmed the flow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) worldwide. FDIs will decline by as much as 40 per cent in 2020.

Malaysia may lose as much as half of the flows of last year. For Malaysia, therefore, it is not so much the quantity but the quality of FDIs that should matter.

Accordingly, in its quest to attract the desired investments, the government has designated three catalytic and two high growth sub-sectors in manufacturing.

Manufacturing still retains the nation’s focus despite its shrinking contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). Its share of GDP fell from 32 per cent in the 1990s to 20 per cent this decade.

This is because of the inherent competitive advantage that we have built in manufacturing since the development of the electrical

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Help for mid-career job seekers to move into biomedical roles, Manpower News & Top Stories

More help will be given to local mid-career job seekers to move into new roles in Singapore’s biomedical science sector, even as the nation continues to position itself as a regional hub to draw in investments and jobs in this area.

For example, some 300 professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs) are expected to benefit from an 18-month professional conversion programme launched yesterday to prepare them for jobs in this sector, which has remained a bright spot amid the recession-hit economy. These include roles such as biotechnologists, production engineers and process development engineers.

And even as Singapore looks to building up a skilled workforce in the biomedical science industry, Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said yesterday that efforts are also under way to anchor this sector here, to create new opportunities for businesses.

The Republic will not compete with others based on the cost of its labour and

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MA Should Move $500M In School Funding To Poorer Districts: Study

MASSACHUSETTS — More than two-thirds of the state education funding that goes to school districts without regard to need goes to the wealthiest 20 percent of school districts and should be reallocated, according to a report released Monday.

While $5 billion in state education funding is earmarked for lower-income school districts, the report by the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education and Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce focuses on the $800 million that is allocated on a “blind-need” basis without regard to need or income levels.

“If ever there was a moment to promote equity in funding education, now is the time to do it,” Ed Lambert, executive director of the Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education said. “For every dollar we send to communities that can afford to fund schools on their own we’re moving further, not closer, to equity.”

In November, the state legislature passed a $1.5 billion education bill

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IEA chief praises Little’s school-funding restoration move as ‘positive step’ | Eye on Boise

Idaho Education Association President Layne McInelly issued a statement today welcoming Gov. Brad Little’s announcement that he’ll fully restore the $99 million cut from the K-12 school budget this year as “welcome and encouraging news.” McInelly had called for the funding restoration earlier this week after state revenues came in well ahead of projections. Today’s announcement is that the state will tap federal CARES Act funds to make up the cuts. Here is McInelly’s full statement:

“Today’s announcement from Governor Little that $99 million will be made available to Idaho’s K-12 public schools is welcome and encouraging news. These funds essentially backfill the $98.7 million that was held back in the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis and will certainly be put to great use for students and professional educators. Opening our schools safely requires additional personnel and resources, and this restoration of funds will enable school districts to better

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UNC-Chapel Hill’s move to online classes is the ‘canary in the coal mine’

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has had a turbulent week. Within only a few days of restarting fall classes in-person, school officials identified four outbreaks of the COVID-19 disease and coronavirus tests turned up more than 130 positive cases. 

Officials made the call Monday to transition all undergraduate classes online for the rest of the term and promised not to penalize students who leave campus housing. It’s the first major university to pivot from in-person to remote instruction after beginning fall classes, and higher education and health experts say the move doesn’t bode well for other colleges. 

They agree not all colleges will suffer UNC-Chapel Hill’s fate, especially if they have robust testing and contact tracing. But schools should be aware of, and try to avoid, the weak points in the university’s reopening plan that may have contributed to the abrupt transition online.

“UNC is the

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