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Serious upskilling empowering India's youth to become the next powerhouse of the country

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

We are living in the age of AI, Machine learning, robots and jobs of course!  With the dawn of tech, employability has reached a new high from 37% to 47.38% in 5 years, as per the India Skills Report 2019. This is a promising change of almost 2-3 percentage points since last year and a huge change of over 15% points in the past 5 years, writes Divya Jain, CEO & Co-Founder Safeducate.

While there is no denying that AI and robotics will ultimately create more job opportunities, in the absence of right steps, there might be a shortage of skilled talent to fill those jobs. India, the country of a billion is anticipated to be the next upcoming power considering the that stated that However, with more than half the population still waiting to be skilled, a lot still needs to be done to achieve the reality.

There is a popular quote saying, “It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skills”. Skills indeed establish the pillar of every mission and a country can progress only if its workforce is equipped with the best of technical, industrial and soft skills. Meanwhile, considering the fast technological change , it will be crucial for the people operating these evolving machines to constantly keep learning new skills – rapidly.

Although India’s existing educational attainment rate has augmented evidently over the past generations, the country is still behind the rates of other leading emerging markets. Further adding to the burden is the Fourth Industrial Revolution that has resulted in a digital disruption, massively impacting industries across different verticals. A report by NASSCOM stated that nearly 40 percent of the estimated four million workforce in India will need re-skilling over the next five years to keep up with disruptive technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, Big Data, analytics and Internet of Things that are pervading nearly every major industry, bringing a threat to human capital.

Realizing the importance of upskilling and training, the Indian government has already introduced initiatives like Skill India Program to offer vocational training initiatives and nurture highly skilled and employable Indian youth that can build up an efficient labour force to work efficiently across major sectors of the economy. However, businesses and educators too must collaborate with the government to shoulder some of the load.

Many corporate houses and businesses have started investing in learning management systems by collaborating with skilling firms and online learning platforms. They are aligning their talent retention and acquisition strategies with business strategies, to ensure that both the existing employees and the new talent are well prepared to take on the global digital disruption. Meanwhile, the educational institutes are revisiting the curriculums to make them more practical, interesting and job oriented. Their ultimate idea is to prepare the students in getting a fair understanding of how new-age workplaces function and have the additional skills needed in an organisation so that they are able to move across jobs and sectors outside their specializations.

In a world where avenues are turning limitless, restricting to a single-stream of knowledge is absolutely impractical. That said, there should be a major emphasis on industry-academia partnerships to keep the educational institutes in sync with the altering industry requirements and urge them to introduce programs that can cater directly to the demands. The dawn of digital education platforms is also enabling the students to can pick up short-term online courses and keep themselves updated with the latest tech developments taking place across sectors.

Empowering the youth of India requires a joint effort by educators and employers in working towards bridging the skills gap.  As this young workforce of India can act as innovators, creators, builders and leaders of the future, they should be well nurtured with employability skills to take the Indian economy towards the next level of growth and development. After all, only a well-skilled, knowledge-rich and healthy population can make way for a promising futuristic workforce that can power the fourth industrial revolution.

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