08 May 2018 19:34 IST

Bridging the gap between employability and skilling

Companies must come forward and support the government in its aim to skill India’s working population

In the global economic scenario, India’s growth story, powered by youth potential, continues to be promising. By 2022, India is expected to have the world’s largest working age population, making the country a significant contributor to the global economy.

However, India is witnessing a two-fold challenge — one, of severe shortage of highly-trained, quality labour; and two, non-employability of large sections of the educated workforce, who possess little or no job skills.

A widening gap

With the world fast digitising, jobs that will emerge in the near future will also require specialised digital skill sets. Over time, every workplace will have to go digital and create new roles, thereby accelerating the demand for a new range of relevant specialist technology skills.

Realising the urgent need for first-time skilling, up-skilling and re-skilling of the working population, the Government of India put together the Ministry of Skills and Development in 2014. Their ambition is to provide skills to around 500 million consumers by 2022. Given the country’s age dynamics, 60 per cent of them are young people.

This alarming gap between employability and relevant skilling in India must spur responsible organisations to help the government bridge this gap.

Guiding the young

To this end, Vodafone commissioned YouGov to ask 6,000 18-24-year-olds in 15 countries what their career aspirations and concerns for the future were. As per the survey, 18 per cent of the youngsters feel they are under-prepared for a digital economy, while 20 per cent have no idea which digital jobs would match their skill.

Based on these findings, the company saw that career guidance was one thing the youngsters lacked. It launched a global career support programme called ‘What will you be?’, that helps build digital careers.

Vodafone worked with renowned global psychologists, career advisers and trainers to develop Future Jobs Finder, an online platform accessible to youngsters across 20 markets globally. It aims to be a one-stop-shop that can enable the youth to identify their skills, match them with relevant digital jobs, facilitate the right training and even search and apply for open opportunities across the globe.

Digital jobs

Focused on the evolving digital economy, the platform allows users to evaluate digital jobs most suited to their skills and interests.

The company also plans to provide 100,000 young people with experiences such as apprenticeships, internships and training in Vodafone by 2022.

Re-skilling and up-skilling to keep up with global digitisation will not just play an important role in a person’s career, but also in the growth of organisations and the overall economy.

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