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Skill Development – Lets Create A Globally Competitive Workforce

In order to seek global employability, we need to be global citizens with blue-sky boundaryless thinking.

Photo Credit : ShutterStock

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A United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) study on demographic dividend has stated that the window of demographic dividend in India will be available for five decades from 2005-06 to 2055-56. Demographic dividend is the state of population where the ratio of working age population is high and the dependency ratio (i.e. the proportion of children and elderly people in total population) is low. 

The working-age population in India is currently around 62% and slated to reach the highest proportion of approximately 65% in 2036. Further, the average age of population in India (29) is poised favourably in comparison with Germany (46.5), Japan (46.1), Italy (44.5), Canada (41.7), USA (37.6), UK (40.4), and China (37).

Borderless economy – Global employability

As competition is becoming more cut-throat, the world is moving towards a borderless economy and resources will need to be optimally utilised to ensure continuous and sustainable development of the human race. So global leaders who are pushing for lower tariffs on imports, to make trade globally competitive, will also need to ensure optimum utilisation of quality human resource by increasing ease of employment portability. Thus, in times to come, merit will outsmart right wing protectionism and only the most suitable candidate will be hired irrespective of colour and nationality and this will not happen because of a benevolent social reform but because businesses will be compelled to do that for their own survival.

Ageing population will have its own set of challenges and many developed countries, which will become pensioners’ habitats, will need younger immigrant workers to run their factories and offices, farm their agricultural lands and also help in running the infrastructure by policing their roads and teaching their kids. These migrants apart from being younger will also need to be equipped with new-age contemporary skills to justify their cross country hiring.

Core technical skills

As a country we need to adhere to a disciplined and planned approach with regard to skill development, and this is equally important for all sectors of the economy and thus, it needs to cover all types of jobs. The honeymoon period of banking on cost arbitrage to justify job shift is nearly over for IT & ITeS sectors, we really need to challenge ourselves and continuously evolve and move up the value chain.

We need to set up more quality institutions, stress on hands-on technical education, open more vocational training institutes for those who want to settle for an alternative fast-track path towards self-sustainability. We need to facilitate practical trainings, internships and apprentice-ships in every sector to churn out a workforce with hands-on experience, who can hit the ground running.

Further, promoting industry academia interactions to ensure a practical flavour into academic curriculums is the desperate need of the hour, it is high time that academic institutions invest more in mid-career hiring from industry to ensure that students learn about the world beyond there text books and get more real-life, on-the-ground learning during their academic years. 

Cutting age technology – Leapfrogging

By 2022, forecasters estimate that sub-Saharan Africa will have nearly 1 billion mobile phones (projected population 1.2 billion) , This is a classic example of a “leapfrogging of technology.” many African countries have skipped huge investments into landline infrastructure by going straight to mobile.

Likewise, we need to ensure that our youth are equipped with cutting age technology and if required we may need to leapfrog in terms of designing our course syllabus and training manuals to churn out job seekers who are ready with futuristic skills, we really need to raise the bar with sound planning and a collaborative approach between government policy makers, industry and academia.

Language & soft skills

If we look at the value chain of any industry we will see that people who are putting in long hours and hard labour are not being able to rake in the major share of moolah and there are various other players in the value chain who position themselves in between the source and ultimate consumer, end up amassing greater individual wealth.

Now these aggregators or facilitators not only have better organising capability and financial muscle but also better soft skills which helps them to reach and position themselves in the market place.

It is very important to gain working knowledge in English (and, if possible, one other global business language like Spanish, French or Mandarin) as this will not only help you with regard to your work-related interactions but also make you far more self-assured.

We should not only take great pride in our own language and culture but also possess the ability to build bridges across cultural differences with maturity and foresight to ensure global mobility and optimum value for our skill sets.

In order to seek global employability, we need to be global citizens with blue-sky boundaryless thinking.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Achin Bhattacharyya

Achin Bhattacharyya is the founder and CEO of Notebook.

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