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Half Of The Skills Required In Next 5 Years Are Still Unknown: Deloitte India

A key impact of the skill gap situation is that industry continues to invest in the management of time, resources and costs in training recruits, says Anindya Mallick, Partner, Deloitte India

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Our education system needs to comply with the pace of technological advancements. Skill training needs to be a compulsion to be able to manage the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution.

Anindya Mallick, Partner, Deloitte India talks about the lack of jobs in engineers, women in engineering and diversity aspects.

How serious is the skill gap situation?

Quality of the existing skilled labour/personnel has been a major concern highlighted by the industry for many years. In terms of numbers, the demand-supply gap is largely seen in the skilled & highly skilled segments, with surplus generally observed for many sectors for semi-skilled persons. A key impact of the skill gap situation is that industry continues to invest in the management of time, resources and costs in training recruits. This has a major impact on the small and medium businesses. Further, with constant changes in technology and changing requirements in the industry, skilling needs to be part of lifelong learning with regular upskilling and reskilling from time to time.

Where does the problem lie for jobs in engineering?

Engineering jobs as we used to know are no longer static or constant but keep changing every day. Possibly, the industry is not aware of more than half of the skill sets required in their sector for the next 5 years with changes in technology and operations as the industry adopts automation as part of industry 4.0. Courses offered, facilities and trained faculty in the institutes should be aligned to this ever-changing need so that students coming out of the system are job ready for the industry.

Why are women engineers misrepresented in engineering?

This is largely a societal issue where engineering traditionally has been viewed as a domain for males. A possible reason for this could be, earlier, engineers at the beginning of their careers were supposed to work at factories which may be located outside the urban areas. The working conditions at the workshop were not considered conducive for females. However, much has changed over time with factory working areas being automated and attention is given to the environment, health & safety aspects making today’s working conditions at factories more conductive for female workforce participation. Also, today engineers have greater options as the need for engineers are broad-based to cover service-oriented sectors like IT, ITeS, telecom, making engineering an attractive career option for women.

Can we achieve diversity in engineering; what lacks for women to occupy top positions in engineering?

There is a need to take preparatory measures to enable women to consider engineering as a career option as well as entry into engineering institutions of their choice. Awareness needs to be built on career options for engineers in today’s world especially in research & development, automated manufacturing, services sectors. Leading institutes are taking measures for increasing female participation in their courses by modifying their selection criteria as well as providing women-centric facilities in their campuses. These measures over time will ensure that academically bright girl students will consider engineering as a career option and enrol in leading engineering institutes thus balancing the gender diversity.