Plugging gaps

Sanjeev Duggal (CEO & Director, Centum Learning LTD.) ON shortage of skilled talent

74Skill based education is the need of the hour in India. While the demand for it is very high, the desire to get skilled is low. People prefer qualifications in pure academic subjects, believing that skill-based education is for academically weak students and for people from the lower strata of the society.

Industry sectors across the board are facing shortage of skilled talent. Every employer seeks employees who have the skills needed to do a given task. While employers understand that many youth lack technical skills, they do expect them to possess work and soft skills needed for job success. Unfortunately, many youth still report to work without these skills. Parents who help their children develop the requisite skills make their job search easier. Sadly, many youth lack opportunities for work because of their disabilities and other shortcomings. There is a myth about acceptance of vocational skilled workforce by the society. Earlier, there was a mismatch between huge number of unemployed youth and vacancies that existed. Most employment opportunities require vocational training but educational institutes rely mainly on textbook knowledge. The government initiatives in skilling and driving industry/academia is helping to promote skill building at the grassroot level. It is also bridging the gap between the skilled new entrants and the unskilled ones. There are ten steps regarding skill development:

1) Skills for all irrespective of age-group or socio-economic background.
2) knowledge and application of acquired knowledge.
3) Industry lineages.
4) Learning by doing work in the real environment.
5) Skill development centers in remote locations.
6) Youth empowerment.
7) Opportunities to be leveraged.
8) Unconventional career options in the vocational education framework.
9) Training for employability.
10) Handholding youth in migration and settlement.
There is a change in framework where people joining an organisation will not be expected to come with skills on a platter. Skill based education cannot be taught on a piece of paper or in a classroom. It needs life, passion and energy for it to become a reality. That is the main challenge.