Malaysia’s Critical Occupations List 2016/2017

The Critical Occupations List (COL) for Malaysia will become the primary instrument to promote better coordination of human capital policies aimed at retaining, upskilling, and attracting talent. 
The COL 2016/2017 expands on the 2015/2016 list, and covers ten key economic sectors: Electrical & Electronics (includes Machinery /Equipment and Advanced Engineering), Oil & Gas, Information and Communication Technology & Global Business Services (ICT & GBS), Telecommunications & Multimedia, Financial Services, Accounting, Education, Aerospace, Medical Devices, and Petrochemicals.
The Critical Skills Monitoring Committee (CSC) was established under the 11th Malaysia Plan to address skill mismatches in the labour market. It is jointly led by TalentCorp and the Institute of Labour Market Information and Analysis (ILMIA), MOHR. One of the CSC’s key initiatives is to construct the COL, an evidence-based list of occupations in Malaysia that reflects the most sought-after and hard-to-fill occupations by industry.

The COL was designed based on international best practices and in consultation with the World Bank. It consists of several components:

  1. Top-down evidence describes the current labour supply in Malaysia. It is based on national labour statistics which contains information about Malaysian residents and their current occupations. Our analysis on these statistics identified the occupations that are skilled, sought-after and strategic to Malaysia. 
  2. Bottom-up evidence describes the current labour demand in Malaysia. We contacted companies, trade associations, and regulators, to find out which positions they were looking to fill. Administrative data from TalentCorp’s initiatives also contributed to this evidence.
  3. The dovetailing process combines both top-down and bottom-up evidence. We used this evidence to identify occupations that could be critical in Malaysia. 
  4. The validation process checks the accuracy and scope of the results. We sent the preliminary list of critical occupations to regulators and trade associations in Malaysia for verification.
  5. The final Critical Occupations List (COL) is created after consolidating all relevant input and feedback from stakeholders.

The COL 2016/2017 list is updated as of 16 December 2016. It will be reviewed and updated annually, via continuous feedback from stakeholders and improvements in methodology. The occupations listed may be subject to further employer requirements such as minimum levels of experience, specific qualifications and competencies.
To download the COL 2016/2017 list, please click here.

To view the COL 2015/2016 list, please click 

If you have any queries or feedback on the COL, please contact Daryl Yong at 03-78397132 or