Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, there has been a seismic movement of businesses towards the digital transformation which required additional personnel to fill in new positions in many businesses. The transition to a work-from-home mode and the accelerating workforce automation created new job openings that demand new skill sets.
A recent World Economic Forum report reveals that 85 million jobs are expected to be displaced by 2025 in SME businesses. It also says that 97 million new jobs would be created within the same period. The study points towards the importance of skilling, upskilling and reskilling to remain on top of your game in IT business solutions.
Training as a means to prevent skill crisis
It’s a reality that organizations are fast-forwarding their digital strategies. But they are also grappling with intense competition, economic uncertainty, shrinking budgets, etc., which pushes employee training to the back side. The gap between the skills and demands can widen by failing to undertake IT skill enhancement measures, and the employees’ learning curve can slow down.
Enhancing IT skills to slash the skill gap
According to a NASSCOM survey, 70% of respondents from the IT industry saw a direct correlation between the higher availability of jobs and the right skills in candidates. The responsibility to upskill lies not just with the companies but with the government, industry and society at large. They should come together, brainstorm and execute steps to overhaul the education system to deliver future-ready and employable skills. This can go a long way in creating meaningful employment opportunities and nurturing a talented workforce.
Importance of learning and development programs
Learning and development programs help in fostering an organization-wide culture of skill-building. Such programs should include all sections of the workforce, especially women, through enhanced STEM-related work opportunities. Identifying skill adjacencies during the talent acquisition stage can help significantly in this. For example, Gartner opines that when recruiters face difficulty hiring Natural Language Processing experts, they can opt for candidates with expertise in fields similar to NLP, like Python. Further, their capabilities can be upgraded through learning and development programs.
Government departments and several companies are collaborating with educational institutes to conduct training programs for school children.
- Atal Tinkering Labs (ATL) are learning spaces designed as part of the Indian government’s Atal Innovation Mission. The program aims to help students acquire knowledge on the latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), design and computational thinking, adaptive learning, etc. The program is designed for school children between Classes 6 to 12.
- The government’s Nation Scheme of Apprenticeship Training provides opportunities for practical training to graduate engineers, technical diploma holders and 10+2 vocational pass-outs in about 10,000 industrial establishments and organizations. It aims to enhance their technical skills in order to make them job-ready as per the needs of the industry.
In short, unique skill sets are required to create and safeguard the next wave of innovation. Focusing on job-specific skills, acquiring new skills through learning and development programs and encouraging a culture of learning would be the magic pill to bridge the demand-supply gap in the IT sector. Skillmine has been making phenomenal leaps in this area through initiatives like INSEED (for graduates), Mentorship (for current employees), and encouraging more women to join IT and Tech.