KUANTAN, November 27, 2017 – In conjunction with the Round-table Dialogue between Academia and Industry organized by Akademi Pengajian Islam & Bahasa Arab (AISAL) of Kolej Yayasan Pahang (KYP), Dr. Haji Zulkifly Baharom, CEO Sejahtera Leadership Initiative was also invited to meet and speak with students acquiring diploma and degree programs 2+2 in Syariah (Islamic Studies) in collaboration with the University of Yarmouk Jordan. The topic of CEO talk entitled “Nurturing Excellence Soft Skills for the Future of Jobs in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.
There is no doubt that the 4IR has become global phenomenon. Industry experts agree it is almost unstoppable. The only way for industries to compete in the future is through embracing the technologies and to measure up to the new standards. Even in Malaysia, a national blueprint on 4IR is currently being worked out by a few ministries with top business leaders as off-shoot of the recently launched Digital Free Trade Zone.

Dr. Zul said, “The central feature of 4IR is effective communication not only between humans but also between machines as well as the human and machine interface. What this means is that 4IR calls for the development of intelligent systems to enable efficient inter-operationability of all elements in the industries. Robots and artificial intelligence are transforming the world. The International Labor Organization reported 56% of jobs in ASEAN countries were at risk of automation and yet, it would see its workforce grow by 11,000 people every day for the next 15 years.”

However, the 21st century workplace does not require individuals who are “walking encyclopedias” but rather self-reliant and resilient persons who are achievement-oriented with high-esteem, persuasive and effective communicators, emotionally intelligent, good problem solvers and decision makers with analytical and creative minds, ethical with a high standard of integrity (morally intelligent). Soft skills are not job-specific; they are valued across a variety of jobs, and organizations regardless of position, rank, grade or title. It is the No ONE differentiator for any job.
Generally in Malaysia and ASEAN, the industry’s accepted list of soft skills include a strong work ethics, achievement orientation, high self-esteem, resilience, self-awareness and self-objectivity, emotional self-control, personal presentation, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and decision making skills, leadership and teamwork skills, and customer orientation. All these are available in SLI training programs.

According to Dr. Zul, “A recent World Economic Forum report, The Future of Jobs, the top 10 soft skills required by 2020 to thrive in 4IR are: complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment, decision making, service orientation, negotiation, cognitive flexibility (one’s ability to shift thoughts and adapt behavior to an ever-changing environment). Ultimately, these skills if properly understood and nurtured can truly lead humanity, over-riding the mechanical-technological stereotypes 4IR.”

Also present at the Round-table Dialogue and Forum with GenY students were Ustazah Nor Aishah Hashim, KYP Vice President (Academic), Ustaz Mohd Rashimi Mohamed, Dean of AISAL, Ustaz Ahmad Shahnun,Head of Department and Lecturer Ustaz Muhamad Firdaus Shahidin, AISAL is developing a new program known as Bachelor in Islamic Management in preparation for KYP becoming a university college in 2018.

Prepared by :
Dr. Zulkifly Baharom
CEO Sejahtera Leadership Initiative