Skilling for the future

The job landscape in India has been undergoing a rapid change. According to a recent report, the adoption of exponential technologies is disrupting industries. By 2022, around 37% of the workforce in India would be in jobs that would require radically changed skill sets. Hence, there is a pressing need to incentivise industries that are manpower-intensive and have high employment potential. As a result, there is a growing acknowledgement of the need to understand which sectors are going to create several jobs, what skills are needed, and how productivity can be enhanced.

The altered demographic profile of the country, with nearly 60% of the population under 25 years of age, has led to many seeking out satisfying, well-paid jobs. Additionally, the industry’s need for an efficient, well-trained workforce has resulted in a focus on skill development. It is here that skill development professionals come into the picture. They help students and professionals develop their existing skill set and get new ones as well. Doing so can enable aspirants to catalyse their career growth and by extension, the organisation they may work at.

Bridging the gap

Until recently, only 10% of the Indian workforce received any kind of skill training. But the times are changing. There is now a new emphasis on promoting vocational training and skill development in collaboration with various stakeholders. For instance, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana has been set up to streamline skill development initiatives.

This is why many vocational and skill development companies are proactively involved in imparting essential skills to people through training. This drive is also being augmented by the Government of India’s plan to train 400 million Indians by 2022 through the National Skill Development Mission.

Companies involved with skilling are customising training in accordance with industry requirements and are doing their bit to bridge the skill gap with a trained and certified labour force. Hence, many are looking out for professionals who can manage end to end skill development training operations and ensure streamlining of the training process. Additionally, those who understand the skill development landscape are being increasingly sought after as managers and placement officers.

Skilling and placement institutes are imparting relevant, employment-worthy skills. As the current infrastructure of ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes), ITCs (Industrial Training Centres) and other government-aided institutes are not enough to train people for future job opportunities, private players with good credentials and proven track record are also being encouraged to enter the skill development sector.

Such partnerships are generating interest in the vocational training and skill development sectors. As traditional job-creating sectors like IT and Telecom are undergoing significant shifts, companies are rapidly embracing new technologies to transform unorganised sectors like transportation, maintenance and software development services into organised ones.

Recent innovations

There are various initiatives that have been put in place to facilitate this process. Technology has been a driving force in helping the scaling up of skill development initiatives in the country. New courses and new job opportunities are opening up in the skill development sector. The benefits can be seen in the placement of ITI students. According to reports, most ITIs have registered an increase in campus placements, with some of them even claiming to have achieved 100% placement. Apart from improved skills, the increased interface between companies and ITIs is responsible for improvement in placements.

Sectors that can hope to see expansion and greater employment opportunities in the near future include textile, footwear, jewellery, food processing, handloom and handicraft, IT hardware and electronics, solar energy, etc. Obviously, things are looking up, but there is still a long way to go. Skill development has to be integrated into the formal education system right from school. Skill creation outside formal education system needs more concerted action and proactive approach and has to be improvised at each step to counter every challenge on the path to success.

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Skilling for the future

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