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BW Businessworld

Skill Gap Is Holding Back Nation’s Economy: Shaheen Khan, Director, CEDP Skill Institute

Unemployment remains elevated where in 18 million Indians are projected to be jobless in the year 2018 as mentioned in World Employment and Social Outlook report

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The Indian Youth Literacy Rate, measured within the age group of 15 to 24, is 81.1 percent according to the research report from the UNESCO. Unemployment remains elevated where in 18 million Indians are projected to be jobless in the year 2018 as mentioned in World Employment and Social Outlook report released by The United Nations International Labour Organisation (ILO).

Shaheen Khan, founder director of CEDP skill institute talks to BW Businessworld about the importance of skilling the employees, and employment prospects for skilled people. Edited Excerpts: 

How can technology help bridge the skill gap in the employees?

Despite India being in the midst of an unprecedented economic boom, skills gap is a grim reality which is indeed holding back our nation’s economy. Every organisation strives to hire employees with a skill set needed for the job but skill gap holds back a lot of progress on the part of the organization. A solution for this problem is embracing technology enabled training to help employees continuously learn and develop the required skills.

There are various ways that technology can help bridging the skills gap while also ensuring that employee’s don’t lose a lot of productive time:

Micro Learning is a very flexible tool, not very time consuming and has a higher retention too. Online Certifications are cheap and easily available method which can be used by employees to upgrade their skills. Embracing technology will improve the access to learning and development programs and prevent skills issues from becoming a roadblock in the forecasted growth of an establishment.

What are the employment prospects for the people gone through the skilling process?

Increased technical knowledge and skills lead to increased employability and better efficiency. Skilling processes that individuals undergo help them learn new skills which will not only help advance their careers but also find more success and satisfaction in their careers. And up-skilling has only helped people grow further.

How important is up-skilling for people looking to revamp their career?

With growing globalization and the variety of jobs that are now available to the Indian population, ‘Cross Functional Skills’ are of utmost importance. We don’t need people with skills in just one area of work. To illustrate, when we hire a sales manager, we don’t just want prior sales experience anymore, he also needs to be impeccable with his business acumen, hiring, coaching, communications and management skills. At the same time, we can’t ignore the fact that a lot of fields need you to be very thorough with your skills in just one domain. The world is now an oyster for employees who are jack of all trades and masters of a few.

How important is apprenticeship along with academic training for a career in beauty?

Employment Services through Capable Workforce has been a primary focus of CEDP since inception, because of the firm belief that any training and education program eventually needs to be resulting into decent and growth oriented employment opportunities for everyone. Driven by this belief, CEDP has gone ahead and partnered with companies related to almost all the verticals in which it provides training and education, so that it helps the students to gain experience from on-job-training from the very initial levels of their program. This effort has paid off well with the partner companies willing to hire, and retain our students as their workforce from time to time.

Working in beauty industry is all about making the client feel beautiful, relaxed and have them leave feeling better about themselves every single time. For someone who has identified that working in the world of glamour and beauty is the ultimate dream, apprenticeship will give huge advantage to gain formal education along with experience and income. Apprenticeship will provide requisite skills to make a distinguished career in any given field and earn while one learns.

How has recruitment policies changed with new skills coming up?

Recruiters no longer look at just a prospective employer’s formal qualifications. They are now embracing a wider talent base that is equipped with the skills necessary for the job at hand as opposed to just a coveted degree. With the “Skilled India” movement coming up and being promoted in a big way, we are witnessing people’s acceptance towards employees who will prove to be assets to the organization with their range of skills as opposed to just a narrow skill set taught in formal educational institutions. We also believe that certain candidates have ability to learn new skills and adapt to new roles so even candidates without direct experience are recruited in our firm.