Experts have released a report confirming Myanmar is facing a shortage of trained and capable labour in a range of industrial sectors that could threaten the nation’s development prospects.
The country’s demand for skilled workers is expected to reach a level equal to almost half the population by 2015.
Myanmar Arts and Science Academics Association Vice President Dr Thet Lwin and Yangon University of Economics Vice Rector Dr Tun Aung prepared the report forecasting Myanmar’s future employment needs.
The document estimated Myanmar will need 32 million more workers in job areas including agriculture, forestry, energy, mining, industry, electrical, construction, social, management and trading by next year.
Yangon University of Economics Rector Dr Tin Win said the report used mathematical calculations to determine where the skilled worker shortages were most prominent throughout Myanmar.
If Myanmar is unable to increase education and training to help citizens improve their employability then the country’s labour needs could reach over 34.6 million by 2020, while demand for skilled workers stood at 29.7 million people in 2010, according to the report.
The report said the country’s agriculture sector will have the highest labour requirement while the industrial and trading sectors will also have employment demands of over 3 million labourers.
Dr Thet Lwin and Dr Tun Aung, the report’s authors, said the agriculture, industrial engineering and information and media industries should be prioritised for local employment expansion.
Last month the IMF forecast it expects Myanmar’s economic growth to rise to a rate of 8.5 percent by March 2015. The report suggests increased shortages in skilled labour could stall the country’s economic progress.
Myanmar is facing skills shortages in many sectors central to the country’s infrastructure development. The civil administration and service sectors are expected to require 2 million further skilled workers by next year.
Estimates also forecast employment demands for the tourism industry to reach 930,000 workers in 2015. Myanmar’s tourism industry is expected to contribute over $1 billion in 2014, increased from $926 million in 2013 and $534 million in 2012.
However, a lack of trained and capable labour could undercut further revenue increases in the tourism industry.
The experts said skill shortages in Myanmar’s foreign language and medical and healthcare services were also likely to become prominent.