Malaysia’s multi-generational workforce is finding that age is a barrier to better work opportunities, a survey revealed. The LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2020 survey found that Gen Z (40 per cent) and Millennials (21 per cent) though optimistic, feel that their careers are being held back due to lack of work experience.

Meanwhile, Boomers (45 per cent) and Gen Xers (33 per cent) feel that age is a significant barrier to opportunities, as they struggle to keep up with new technological and automation changes in a rapidly developing world.

“For the first time, four generations are working together. It’s time for businesses to set aside hiring biases against age, and embrace the multigenerational workforce as an opportunity,” said Olivier Legrand, Managing Director, LinkedIn in Asia Pacific. He said the biggest skill gaps seen today are soft skills among Gen Z and Millennials, and tech skills among the older generation. “We encourage companies to hire for complementary skills and to promote collaboration and bi-directional mentorship among their workforce. “This is also a journey that we are working through at LinkedIn because we believe that a multigenerational and diverse workforce is a business advantage and driver of growth,” added Legrand.

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, launched the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2020 as a composite measure that seeks to understand how people perceive opportunity and more importantly, the gaps in getting to those opportunities. The research surveyed over 30,000 respondents in 22 markets globally, including 1,050 in Malaysia.

The survey also found that overall, Malaysians have a relatively positive outlook on the local economy, and are more optimistic in relation to developed markets such as Singapore, Australia and Japan. “Gen Z and Millennials fuel the drive for optimism and confidence to gain access to opportunities”, the survey said.

The LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2020 also found that Malaysians’ long-term pursuit of good quality of life is ultimately defined by “good health”. However, at the moment, career and life goals are of utmost importance to them, it added. “Specifically, Malaysians are most keen on opportunities that allow work-life balance and greater financial independence. “Boomers and Gen X seek better health and secure finances for the future, while Millennials and Gen Z prioritise a stable job. “But the pursuit of these opportunities are hindered by ‘opportunity gaps’ or barriers to opportunities like today’s difficult job market, lack of financial resources and people’s age,” it said in a statement, today.

The survey also revealed that Malaysians value education and the opportunity to gain new skills. Malaysians also feel that working hard and the willingness to embrace change are key to achieving better opportunities. However, 77 per cent of Malaysians also believe that education is important to getting ahead in life. “It is therefore not surprising to see that 31 per cent of Malaysians – the highest in Asia Pacific – are looking for opportunities where they can learn a new skill or technology. This suggests an appetite to elevate themselves in the workforce and to compete more efficiently,” the survey said.

LinkedIn commissioned independent market research firm, GfK to conduct this study between Sept and Oct 2019. The survey was conducted among 18 to 65-year-olds across 22 countries via online interviews. The survey had more than 30,000 respondents from Canada, United States, Brazil, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.

The age groups of respondents were classified as: Gen Z (18 – 22 years old) 1998 – 2002; Millennials (23 – 38 years old) 1982 – 1997; Gen X (39 – 54 years old) 1966 – 1981; Boomers (55 – 65 years old) 1955 – 1965.



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