Industry 4.0 critical skills and career readiness of ASEAN TVET tertiary students
Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei
Industry 4.0 is a time of serious disruptions whereby monumental changes are happening in the world of work, in the ways we teach and learn, and in the ways that we live our lives. Increased automation coupled with artificial intelligence are making humans obsolete, for instance, in the manufacturing and service industries. Intelligent machines are useful but human beings are losing livelihoods or becoming trapped in the 'gig economy'. This empirical study collected and examined qualitative data related to Industry 4.0 critical skills outlined by the World Economic Forum from ASEAN student leaders at five tertiary polytechnics in Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. 'Netnography' data collection instruments were employed namely online interviews and group discussions within a cloud-based instant messaging and VOIP service together with face-to-face focus group discussions, where permissible. Results do not look too promising with a number of the participants still in the dark about what skills they need to acquire for Industry 4.0 and how they must hone those skills before they enter an uncertain world of work in 2020 and beyond. Clearly, ASEAN nations must move fast, un-train and retrain tertiary students in the vital skills needed to survive and succeed in the post-Industry 4.0 era.