Reskilling With Technology Is Necessary To Bridge Industry Gap

Corporations and enterprises are heavily investing in upskilling initiatives to provide employees with the necessary knowledge and skills so that they can work in cross-functional teams which will, in turn, boost innovative thinking.

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought numerous changes all around us and has created new boundaries as it demanded social and physical distancing as well as new remote working models. However, on the bright side, the crisis has also brought in a positive change – the acceleration of digital transformation. The growing popularity of digital apps and various digitized platforms has changed the outlook of various segments and industries such as finance, healthcare, education, gaming and so on. Also, there is rising acceptance of digitalization which has, in turn, created a strong demand for a highly skilled workforce, adept at using the latest technologies.   

Though digital technologies are becoming increasingly popular, there is a significant mismatch between the digital skills required by the industry and which are actually taught in education, posing a serious challenge for the future of work. A major chunk of the population is ill-prepared to fill in job roles that require at least a basic knowledge of digital skills. These learning deficits can put this lot of people at a larger socio-economic risk by aggravating unemployment and inequalities. Thus, there is a need to bridge the divide in digital skills and foster the employability of vulnerable populations. 

Moreover, over the years, the focus is increasing on automation as there is a gradual reduction of manual labour. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and blockchain are being used extensively by businesses and even global governments. Likewise, the skill requirements are changing rapidly too and the skills that are relevant today might become redundant tomorrow as newer technologies tend to replace the old. This is why upskilling and reskilling are the need of the hour. 

Nurturing the Desire to Learn

A critical aspect in the existing race for professional success is having the desire and the capability to remain on the learning curve. Traditionally, our education system has placed more emphasis on theoretical, rote-based learning and less on skills training and the right exposure. This is one of the main reasons most job-seekers continue to remain unemployable. For a country with nearly 12 million graduates seeking jobs annually, there is a dire need to supplement their theoretical knowledge with skill-based specialized training. Internship and apprenticeship programs in this direction will also help foster the requisite digital skills in students. 

Given the development and rise of new technologies, advanced industrial concepts, and continuous innovation occurring across industries, the only way to bridge the skill gap within the industry is constantly learning so that one can take a step forward to prepare for their future. 

In addition, facilitating the development of alternative and non-formalized models for digital training can be an effective means to help students gain an edge over their peers and address the divide between schooling and employability. This will also help provide a framework for skilling, upskilling and reskilling. Such efforts are specifically important for offering workers those market-related digital skills that can fulfil the evolving needs of potential employers in various industries in the public and private sectors. Students must also consider investing time in gaining technical and management skills which can help them grow into business leaders of tomorrow. 

Learning to Take Ownership

In the new normal, job roles and responsibilities are undergoing changes even faster than they did before the pandemic. Corporations and enterprises are heavily investing in upskilling initiatives to provide employees with the necessary knowledge and skills so that they can work in cross-functional teams which will, in turn, boost innovative thinking.  

Technology is a crucial area where upskilling has become imperative — with a major focus on courses related to artificial intelligence and machine learning, blockchain, data science, the internet of things (IoT), cybersecurity, and online marketing. In addition, there is an incessantly rising demand for upcoming segments like e-vehicle technology, renewable energy, 3D printing, and biotechnology. Also, many schools are yet to introduce digital training in their curricula. And some that do have not made it compulsory. Hence, governments must assist school administrations in providing basic, intermediate, and advanced digital skills that will go beyond schools to develop a wide range of educational pathways. 

Though many are apprehensive about technologies eating away certain jobs, they often tend to overlook the several new job roles that new technologies are creating and will create in the future. The change is massive and inevitable, so it’s essential that we take this in our stride, embrace new ideas and invest in skills that are likely to secure our tomorrow. 

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

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reskilling industry gap skill gap digitisation

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