Just as much as the words ‘pandemic’ and ‘coronavirus’ have become the buzzwords of the year 2020, the words ‘unemployment’ and ‘job loss’ have also become popular. For both, the ones seeking a job and those desperately trying to hold onto their existing ones, ‘upskilling’ has become a key tool.
Upskilling? What’s that?
In simple terms, upskilling means learning new skills and enhancing your competencies. With the emergence of artificial intelligence, human hands have become easily replaceable. So, to remain at par with the industry standard or to get ahead of the curve, skill enhancement has become inevitable today.
The Indian employment market is plagued by a visible skill gap. That is, there are a number of vacancies that require new skills, but there are not enough able candidates to fill those positions. This is partly because a large number of the workforce doesn’t possess the relevant knowledge and the skillset for those opportunities. Upskilling helps prepare you for those opportunities.
In the India Skill Report (ISR) 2020, Rohit Suri, Chief Human Resource & Talent, Officer–South Asia, Group M has said, “Most process-oriented roles will continue to get automated using tech platforms, AI, ML and RPA to manage scale and efficiency. The key skills in digital, data, analytics, technology, and expertise in long/short format digital content which is native to diverse set of platforms are essential. As new platforms emerge, the skill on programmatic and digital will continue to evolve. The current challenge is the employability of talent from colleges as there is a huge gap and skills learnt are not easily transferable. Organisations currently need to heavily invest in upskilling. I think the education industry needs to work hand in hand to curate courses that are vital for the industry today and the future.”
Why should you care?
Upskilling is a sure shot gateway to better opportunities. In today’s employment scenario it is not just enough to have a degree, but it is also essential to have the relevant skills and also industry knowledge. These application skills increase your competency to handle new challenges. This makes upskilling imperative to remain job relevant and to not lag behind.
It will also boost your morale making you confident to grow into managerial roles. This will not only open up new possibilities and opportunities for you but also help you tackle dynamic challenges at your workplace with new perspectives.
Companies are also heavily investing in upskilling programmes to increase productivity in their employees and to survive in the competition. It helps organisations adapt to changing environments and brings agility in the workforce. Also in the case of a sudden exit of any employees, role transitions can be conducted smoothly without jeopardising operations. Upskilling helps the company to save huge resources that would usually be deployed in onboarding new employees.
The ISR 2020 has red-flagged several issues in the employment market. One of their key takeaways is that “Employability of India’s youth has remained stagnant for the past three years, lingering around 46% of participants who are job-ready. The state of employability has not improved over the last few years, implying the need for more robust actions.” Upskilling is one of the actions it has recommended.
The report also highlights the low participation of women in jobs with less than 25% women at work, despite the employability of women reaching at par with men, in comparison with the previous year. It suggests upskilling programmes for senior roles to attract more women at workplaces. The report quotes Chaitali Mukherjee, Partner and Leader, People and Organizations, PwC India and India Digital Upskilling Leader as saying, “In a growing population, where women constitute 50% of the total size, Upskilling women as a priority agenda could change the paradigm not just for the women, but for the society, because with every woman who gets empowered, there is an associated family that gets empowered and influenced. Upskilling as a need in India is the bridge between India’s demographic dividend, demographic nightmare and crossing it, is not an option but a burning need. However, the magnanimity of the problem requires change in the social fabric and by empowering and skilling women, we could just be doing that! The path to Upskilling women, however, would need a larger change. Instead of making it an agenda for empowering women, it has to be viewed and narrated as an economic agenda. Building societal Commitment to women being skilled, is not just what the society needs, it’s also what the economy needs. The demographic dividend and the population opportunity of India that we talk about, has 50% of it, women. We are as slow as the slowest in our teams. If 50% of them are left behind, we will not get anywhere.
Speaking about its importance in the IT industry, Gautam Kar, Head- Talent Acquisition, Wipro Limited has said, “The challenges being faced in IT industry’s talent landscape today are the dynamic nature of business – every year there is a launch of new technology in the market hence upskilling and adaptability of current talent to new business needs is a challenge in a short span of time. Also, there is limited talent pool available in Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations – limited people mobility due to the affiliation to their native location. Only 40% of the IT talent available meet the skill expectation, while for remaining 60% we need to invest in upskilling with experience
New skills coming up in IT industry are Digital, Cloud, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence,
Automation and Machine learning are new upcoming skills in IT industry. The IT industry desperately needs the upskilling of candidates on future technology. We need to earmark key
institutions with specialised programs of relevant skills.”
What does it take?
If the pandemic-induced lockdowns have changed your working style and you are now working from home, this is the ideal time for upskilling as you save on your commute time. Anyway these courses do not take too much of your time. Weekend classes are also available and you have the comfort of attending these courses online from the comfort of your home. Just putting in a few weekends of work will get you ready for new challenges in a matter of a few months. SkillSir offers weekend
courses that will take barely four hours in a week and in two to three months you are trained for a new skill.
Is it expensive?
It all depends on how you see it. Upskilling is an investment for your future and it will pay you rich dividends. It will enable you to take up new job roles or even get promoted. So it is worth every penny that you spend on it. Courses are available for charges as low as Rs. 3000. And we offer attractive discounts on all our courses. Early registrations can also benefit from early bird discounts.
How can we help you?
SkillSir offers upskilling modules in a wide array of subjects ranging from data science to language training. We offer live and interactive online classes through our e-learning platform and you can do it at your convenience. Unlike traditional learning, you do not have to go to an institute, but the institute will come to you right at your fingertips. It doesn’t matter which part of the world you may be in, you can still attend courses from eminent institutions like MICA through their exclusive Management Development Programmes (MDPs) like Art and Science of Persuasive Communication- Critical and Logical Thinking and CSR for Impact- Soft and Strategic Communication.
How are we different?
SkillSir is a new initiative by TASK, enabling Career Enhancement. It offers upskilling modules, both online and onsite, to students, professionals, corporate and academia. TASK group offers Integrated HR Solutions and has been in the Employment landscape for 24 years. This has provided us the unique opportunity of having a ring-side view of the employment market and to know the kind of skills employers are seeking. We have a greater understanding of the skill gap and we keep that in mind while designing courses for SkillSir. In other words, we are a skill-tech company focussing on skills rather than mere education and certificates.