Bridging the skill gaps to make job-ready

With 15 million youths 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 towards the dynamic and rising need to make young Indians job-ready, focusing on young graduates to supplement their employability.

For example, 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.

Yet, the limited concern we have for vocational training and skill development has led to decades of neglect of these skills. 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.

Once this due respect to skills is given, there is a necessity to support the tech growth with investment in skills and knowledge to prepare for the future. Revamping the education system can help bridge the aptitude gap staring at us, particularly at the school and college level, as it forms the first step into the professional world. Colleges need to work together with industries to draw out a curriculum that entails and incorporates technological education and advancements.

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. Top talent for management roles can be attracted by proposing better pay and freedom in decision making. This would inspire ITIs/ITCs to involve more effectively with industry and deliver a rich exercise experience to students.

Limited growth has been made in integrating skills-based training at the school level. Developed European countries like Germany, Switzerland and Finland have well established outline to present vocational education at a young age.

While some initiatives have been started in Karnataka, this remains a big area of concern. Further, the legal regime in this nation poses obstacles to reaching potential in skill building whereas absence of regulation across courses, informational asymmetry and industry-curriculum misalignment are some of the other tests that outbreak delivery of skill education.

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.

SMEs today, face a tough task to recruit, train, and guide such workers. 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.

Creating standard assessments

Over the years, a necessity for a standard, nation-wide skill valuations and authorization methodology has been strongly felt. By setting up a central skill development university, that follows international standards in assessment and testing, we can set up a reliable, sustainable, and robust apparatus.

Such a step will be supportive for students (be offering a nationally recognized degree), and build transparency and reliability for the hiring SMEs.

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. With over 147 centres across Mumbai we have trained nearly 3500 students in various fields like hospitality, automobile, healthcare etc CEDP Skill Institute Mumbai has also taken a step ahead in skill revolution of our country.

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.

The Cisco Networking Academy (NetAcad) is also aimed as a timely rejoinder to these challenges. The core curriculum integrates hands-on experience when instruction students about computer networks. At present, there are over 160 Cisco Academies (across 26 states & union territories) with 7,600+ student presently registered in the program and 4900+ professionals have already graduated in CCNA.

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.

Certainly, the country’s ability to grab the chances obtainable to its young population completely depends on its achievement to tackle the issues afflicting its education and vocational training. Moreover, businesses must find the right equilibrium between building skills for today and preparing for an uncertain future, which demands for nimble learning systems that are mountable, technology-driven, and inventive

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