ICTpost Education Bureau
For most of the 20th century, people obtained marketable skills and achieved prosperity in one of two ways. The first was on the job. By promoting from within, firms enabled workers to progress to higher-level occupations. Unions negotiated career ladders that were linked to skills and seniority, and they joined employers at an occupation or industry level to host apprenticeship and other training programs. That system ensured an adequate flow of new talent equipped with state-of-the-art skills.
Despite high unemployment nationwide and throughout India, thousands of jobs remain unfilled because employers can not find qualified workers.
With India set to house the world’s largest working population by 2030 it’s now estimated that if India’s skilled workforce continues to rise for another 25 years, the country could command one of the most vibrant workforces in the world by 2035. According to a recent study Imax Consulting did for NSDC the skill gap in 21 critical sectors from now until 2022 is 244 million and the addition to the labour force in that period is about 120 million – thus there would be a supply side problem instead of a demand crisis.
The big obstacle is execution. For the past decade, Indian businesses and government have focused on overhauling K–12 science, math, and reading education and on addressing persistently high dropout rates in villages. There is a need for such reforms, but progress has been too slow to remedy the looming skills shortages.
With political gridlock and a focus on deficit reduction likely to continue, the government probably won’t launch major new education and training initiatives anytime soon.
We think that companies can and should take the lead in training workers to fill the middle-skills gap. Realistically, that can happen on a large enough scale only if business leaders cooperate with one another, unions, and educational institutions, both regionally and nationally. The key words are cooperate and nationally.
India missed the pen and pencil revolution and the result is known to every Indian. With a constant tug-of-war between resources and requirements, technology is the only way to scale up solutions and bridge the gaps between them. We have to ensure not to miss out the digital revolution. The time has come for India to exercise greater ambition; it is time to move from incremental goals to quantum leaps in education reforms. There is a need for greater collaboration between industry, civil society and government to transform existing models to bring them in line with the best globally. And thus we will be able to build India’s tomorrow! firstname.lastname@example.org
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