Importance of training for career growth

Importance of training for career growth

Jack Welch, former chairman and chief executive officer of General Electric, once said, "An organisation's ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage." Well, needless to say, with the modern dynamics of the employment market, the same must be extended to every individual of this generation.

Organised full-time jobs are declining worldwide. However, with globalisation, innovation and digitalisation driving global competition and excessive consumer expectations, fresh avenues are opening up. This is a favourable news for aspiring youngsters, especially in India. However, this also calls for continuous skill upgrade. It is estimated that six out of 10 young people entering the workforce by 2025 will be in professions that do not exist today.

Vocational education

Although India enjoys a demographic dividend, tapping into this is quite another story. The pace at which technology and market dynamics are changing, it is important for the youth to be equally competent to handle these rapid changes and create sustainable means of livelihood for themselves. Considering the worldwide decline in white-collar jobs, it is important to tap into other avenues that are opening up in the informal sector. This is where vocational training plays a major role in equipping individuals to be industry-ready.

Today, vocational education has reached the school level to encourage students to explore alternate career options. The higher secondary vocational programme aims at honing skills that would help students pursue self-employment. Besides this early intervention, there are short-term courses and long-term diploma and BVoc (Bachelor of Vocation) courses being offered by vocational training providers, making individuals ready for industry-specific roles. The advantage of these courses is that the student has the benefit of multiple exit points and continued exposure to industry.

With every industry embracing technology, the formal and informal sectors have begun to overlap even more strongly than ever before, opening up scopes for cross-functional roles. This is evident in the construction sector where structures like the metro rail and earthquake-resistant buildings have taken the sector to new heights. Today, this sector not just needs qualified engineers and architects, but also new generation technicians and skilled workers to handle construction work with precision.

Upskilling programmes

As the stark reality of tech-savvy world is hitting the existing workforce, it has become essential for every working individual to strengthen existing skill sets through skill development and training. As seen in the construction sector, technology has changed the entire landscape to such an extent that without upgrading the workforce, it is impossible for the industry to expect quality output from workers. From masons and carpenters to electricians and plumbers, there is a skill gap that can only be bridged through training.

While the latest technological developments have changed the present industry requirements, labour market dynamics, too, have changed. This means that every employed individual in today's job market needs to acquire multi-functional skill sets to move seamlessly between sectors. Only then can they expect sustainable livelihood for themselves. Imagine a supervisor in an apparel unit taking a short-term certificate course and getting an opportunity to manage a warehouse for an e-commerce company! Such cross-sector linkages are now possible due to focused vocational training programmes that follow National Skills Qualification Framework.

Today, the ecosystem is ripe for a positive growth. Hence, it is important for the youth to understand the blurring of lines between various kinds of employment. The new generation should be ready to make proper use of the opportunities and strive to grow through continuous learning.

(The author is co-founder and CEO of LabourNet Services India, Bengaluru)

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