Rising unemployment and talent shortage: the employability paradox
The need to continuously improve employee skills is a challenge facing all HR and sales managers. According to a recent report, in order to meet anticipated demand levels, the number of workers with digital skills in India will need to increase nine-fold by 2025.
In addition, it indicates that Indian workers will need to develop seven new digital skills by 2025 to keep up with technological advancements and industry demand. Almost all industries in India are looking to develop their employees and hire more skilled workers for project deployment.
Organizations need skilled professionals who are easily employable so that they can contribute from the start of their employment.
The employability paradox
It’s ironic that despite the talent shortage across all industries, most young professionals can’t find work. According to the latest Indian Skills Report (ISR), not even half of India’s graduates are employable because they lack the skills they are looking for today. Only 45% of 2021 graduates were found to be ready for employment.
Also read: Coronavirus impact deepens education divide in India: United Nations agency
The reason for this paradox is that there is a mismatch between classroom instruction and the actual skill requirements in the workplace. In order to solve this persistent challenge, the industry must collaborate with competent companies.
Learn from global practices
The technologies, the skills required, and the speed at which these skills are implemented into real practice are changing rapidly. Industry 4.1 recognizes this fact. Ideally, freshmen should receive academic training related to industry relevance, such as assignments on live projects, in addition to academic training.
This is also referred to as an apprenticeship program, a form of training common in Germany, Switzerland, UK, Australia and some other countries. A few Indian companies have already implemented this practice due to the excessive demand for technological talent, but eventually it will have to become the established way for organizations to hire new talent.
Bringing universities and industry together
Today, edtech players, in particular those in B2B, play an active role in solving this problem. They create programs in collaboration with industry leaders to close the gap.
Also Read: India’s Rural Work Program Provides Green Jobs to Fight Climate Change
Train and hire: In this model, the edtech company is responsible for delivering the content, but the hiring organization takes care of the industry context, live projects, etc. Learners can thus start working on projects directly with the company as interns from the start of their academic program.
It is a win-win solution for both the employer and the job seeker. For learners, this practice provides a great learning experience as it is built into industry relevance which ultimately results in a placement.
Hire and train: The second way to do this is to train newly hired professionals. However, this comes at a cost. This means that the company must create learning and development (L&D) programs that are relevant to them. Designing niche training courses is generally not the core value proposition for most companies, especially as technology is constantly changing.
While developing content for these training programs is a difficult process, delivering them is another. The edtech industry also solves this challenge by offering personalized and organized learning and development programs that meet the specific needs of organizations by providing access to content from prestigious institutes.
Read also: Decline in unemployment in Q4 2020: Survey
Typically, employees prefer programs that are easy to follow, run in the Indian context, and strongly instructor-led. Therefore, it is essential that organizations deliver an engaging program that not only meets all of these expectations, but also ensures that employees complete the program.
There are a few edtech companies that help companies develop their employees, find talent, recruit new talent, implement internal learning programs, or set up internal knowledge academies. And it is incumbent on organizations to move forward and introduce such training and development and hiring strategies by collaborating with edtechs.
(The author is Vice President, Business, Hero Vired)