Skills development is no longer
a luxury (if at all it ever was!), but rather an urgent necessity. Every
industry and every country is facing skills gap challenges in one way or
another as there is no outrunning technological and workplace disruptions. Highly-skilled
and talented labor is the driving force behind every nation’s economic as well
social growth, especially in a country like India.
And, believe it or not, India is
holding strong and rising up to the task, be it through government
interventions, HR and L&D investments from blue chip companies, or the
growing crop of skilling and training platforms available in the market today. Join
me as I take a look at some positive announcements, FDIs in education in India
and the promise of a better ‘eLearning’ future.
Skill on, India
estimates suggest that nearly half of India’s population is below the age of 25 and the average
age of the population is set to reach 29 by 2020. The nation sits unbalanced
atop a scale that has equally chances of going either way – India’s demographic
dividend will either boost the economic growth OR fizzle out with disappointing
outcomes. And, the plane where the scale stands (bear with the analogy), is the
country’s struggle with unemployment, lack of employment opportunities, rising skills
gaps and technology adoption.
has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world, for quite some
time, and continues to lead the race, which is to say that India stands to
benefit largely from its employable population. But wait, with 104.62 million-strong workforce set to enter the
labor market by 2022, with only 1% of the population making up 22% of
national income, India’s skills gap poses a terrible threat to the promise
of economic growth.
far more relevant question then arises – CAN India address this, and how?
answer – YES, it can… How? Let’s find
global organizations have long seen the skills gap challenges hurtling towards
them, including their counterparts in India. It’s not like Indian enterprises
are not privy to the fact that workforce development with in-demand knowledge
and skills is the call to action to effectively complement the country’s
growth. But, come on, let’s face it, this has got to be a combined effort where
India diverse industries embrace and propagate skills training for their
employees with meaningful certifications, including effective and sustainable
long-term skills development strategies.
Insufficient training facilities
or opportunities, a stark mismatch between formal education and industry
(skills) demands, along with limited industry inputs are some of the, let’s
call them ‘overlooked’, hurdles standing in the way of India’s economic growth.
And, to address
this Indian organizations are slowly but surely defining and adopting
efficient, scalable and sustainable employee training programs. With global
technology titans like Amazon, Google and Microsoft marking a larger presence
across India, the country’s corporate sector is being significantly influenced
by global L&D practices. Leading organizations across the country are now
leveraging the best
learning management systems, modern learning libraries and innovative learn-tech tools.
Recent news coming out of
India’s eLearning trades is that two of the country’s biggest software companies,
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys, are looking to make available
their organizational eLearning courses to outside users. Although a step towards
opening up new revenue streams, considering the bigger picture, this still
holds a promise of giving positive dividends to the demographic.
In similar news, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) recently
proposed attracting foreign institutions and foreign direct investment (FDI) in
India’s education sector to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal. Okay, some background –
education in India has been not-for-profit, where the (surplus) cash generated
could be invested back into the said institute. Ahead of the proposed move, an
Indian government official cited that the urban development ministry is
presently chalking out a scheme – Knowledge Cities – similar to special
economic zones (SEZs). Likewise, the move has garnered positive responses since
India’s Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman suggested in the 2020-21 budget
speech that FDI in education would be promoted.
Clearly, lot of positive
movement happening in India’s education and learning sector that will surely
provide some dividends in the years to come. And, learning technology solutions
and eLearning will continue to bring key advantages to India’s corporate
sector. A country as economically, geographically and culturally diverse as
India will benefit from the wide ranging learn-tech solutions, including the
irreplaceable Learning Management System (LMS), Mobile Learning, blended learning, social learning and online learning libraries.
In light of such positive announcements,
despite of the increasing skills gap facing India, it’s time for Indian enterprises
to prioritize L&D and ardently integrate eLearning and learning technology
into India’s fledgling corporate sector; because learning is lifelong and
technology is indispensable. Simply put, learning technology and eLearning are
must-haves for skill development in India, and it’s encouraging to know that
the government and Indian enterprises are taking steps in the right direction.
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