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BUILDING SKILLS FOR TODAY AND PREPARING FOR AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

With 15 million youth entering the labour force each year, more than 75 per cent are not job-ready. India will need 700 million skilled workers by 2022 to meet the demands of a rising economy. This stark imbalance, due to the absence of technical and soft skills, plugs  the dynamic and rising need to make young Indians job-ready, focusing on young graduates to supplement their enjoyability.

Shaheen Khan find outs more....

The country presently faces a huge scarcity of sales associates, computer operators, beauticians, hair stylists, medical sales agents, mobile repair engineers, plumbers, electricians, sewing machine operators, masons, bartenders, painter-decorators. There is a growing need to make drastic amends to resolve the great Indian talent conundrum. To make the most of this demographic dividend that we, as a country own, the maiden step towards this is to rejoice skills and receive their need and importance with an open mind, just like China.

Challenges:
It is generally held that knowledge, skills, and ingenuity of persons are acute to withstand development, economic, and social action in an information society. Given the present high-paced development and lively investment climate in India, the call for knowledge workers with high levels of practical and soft skills will only increase. With growth taking place across sectors: banking and financial services, retail, manufacturing, pharmacy, SMBs, outsourcing / offshoring companies, service providers, etc there already exists a huge requirement for IT talent.

The gap between demand and supply is widening the situation, a look at the Indian education system will disclose that the number of technical schools in India, plus engineering colleges, has in fact more than trebled in the last decade, Several professionals believe that top level leadership plays an important role in shaping the accomplishment of skill development efforts. Thus, connecting education and skills via joint programs of the Ministry of Human Resource & Development (HRD) and labour will deliver clarity of track to the performing bodies and avoid administrative difficulties.

Ideas to bridge the skill gap in India
The Indian government has taken numerous initiatives to support SMEs. It recognizes that these industries donate hugely to the country’s economic progress and also hire a huge number of people. They have the prospective to contest with most global industrial hubs. Yet, they are constrained.

The scarcity for skilled manpower is one of the main areas of concern for Indian SMEs. While about 15 million applicants enter the workforce every year, nearly 75% are not job ready. This harsh disparity, due  to absence of practical and soft  skills, highlights a crucial need to increase the employability of young graduates.

Here are some ideas that can help us to bridge this gap if implemented in aright way:

Revamping the education system
In India, vocational education is mainly observed as a one-down career, fit for those who have not been able to progress in the formal educational system. This insight needs to be reformed. The need of the hour is an official degree in different trades of vocational education.

We also need a strong association between the industry and the academia for rising job-relevant prospectus and for providing lucrative apprentice breaks. Such an association will safeguard that the scholars have the right amount of exposure and exercise for the most appropriate skills and aptitudes necessary in a job-scenario. Educated but jobless is a common story for millions of students in the country. The problem of skill gap in our country is as much about skill mismatch as that of absence of skill in our labour market. This important gap of skill development in India is a main concern and needs to be bridged, for us to remain modest in the world market.

Vocational training programs
Very few SMEs have the capitals and means for offering all-inclusive skill development for their employees. This leads to a skill gap within the organisation producing either disguised employment or higher abrasion. To pawn this, a government incentivised vocational training program can be incorporated. Alongside skill training, this will also help in growing employability.

One of the models for connecting the skill gap is through Public Private Partnership. The present government, through Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and National Skill Development Corporation India (NSDC) have offered several prospects for tycoons to step-up and create ventures for imparting skill education.

Industry-Academia Partnerships
One of the important means to grab the problem of mislaid job inclination in the Indian IT sector is partnerships between the industry and academia. Many IT companies are connecting with engineering colleges and universities.

Infosys has launched a platform called 'Campus Connect' to support the education being given at numerous engineering colleges, with the necessities of the industry. Wipro on track has also come up with a program called the Wipro Academy of Software Excellence, in collaboration with BITS (Pilani) to make fresh alumni for careers in software programming and deliver them with the essential skills. Many multinationals have also recognized associations with theoretical institutions on specific initiatives covering faculty up-gradation, residencies, curriculum revision workshops, research incubation, etc. combining the designers of the new global economy.

To conclude:
By making skills training an important right, the government can surface the way for youth in rural India to release their hidden potential and be a part of nation building. Vocational training, skills development, and value education need to be made available to youth in the distant and rural areas, its high time now for us to restart the India education system and act on various joint initiatives by the industry and academia in plugging the talent gap in the years to come.

The author is Director of CEDP Skill Institute Mumbai.

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