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  • Almost 52.62% of India’s Workforce Remains Unemployable.
  • IBM Chief Ms. Rometty – “Indians Lack Skill-Sets to be Recruited.”
  • India Will be One of the Largest Workforce Provider by 2026.
  • Strategy to Upskill is Must for Working Professionals and Students.

Challenge is Less of Unemployment and More of Unemployability

The National Skill Development policy 2009 is considered to be pivotal in the evolution of employable workforce in India. Over the past decade various stakeholders such as central and state government, corporates, academia, training providers, financers, and beneficiaries, have been working towards filling the skill gap. Institutions of the likes of National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT), National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), State Council for Vocational Training (SCVT), to name a few, have pushed hard to achieve the goal of higher employability in India. The progress is apparent as per the India Skill Report, 2019 (Refer the graph below). Still, almost 52.62% of India’s workforce remains unemployable. The challenge is less of unemployment and more of unemployability.

Source: India Skill Report 2019

Why Unemployment is Not the Biggest Threat?

India’s workforce demographic advantage has been in talks in regards to the global skill landscape. In almost another 7 years, India will be having whooping 1 billion people aged between 15 to 64 years. This will make India among very few countries with the capacity to meet global talent need. At the same time, the capability to meet the need is something which entire Skill and Talent Ecosystem of India is trying to address. Companies are not left with much choice than to spend a lot of time and money in talent acquisition, training, skill development, and talent retention. With almost 12.8 million job aspirants entering into the job market every year in India, is it a viable option for companies?

What Our Desi Techies Should Think About?

In a recent report, global tech major IBM chief Ginni Rometty has said “Indians lack the skill sets to be recruited. You have got to believe in a few different things that I think you believed in the past. One is to believe that skills are perhaps more important than a degree.” What does this statement from of a Tech Giant chief means? Don’t you think, it is nothing but the recruitment pulse of the industry as well! When you come out from the Indian education system, there is a harsh reality waiting for you. The next table from India Skill Report doesn’t show a very different picture. What is happening to almost 43% of B.E./B.Tech students? Where are they going after their degree? What kind of work are they doing if working at all?


Source: India Skill Report 2019

The scenario is grim, specifically for those who need to pay back their education loan. Government, Corporates, and various organizations are working towards building skills development ecosystem. However, ownership of being employable resides on whom?

What Techies Can Do?

“This must be unequivocally understood that a high paying job is no more just about technological skills.”

It is the best time when our techies, whether young or seasoned, start working on an upskilling strategy for themselves. Having a LinkedIn profile and taking technology training is still not enough. There are other professional attributes which are and will keep playing a pivotal role. Let’s take English Communication for instance; according to India’s census data, almost 30% of the population in India can speak English to varying degrees. Further, only a third of this population has some impression of reading and writing aptitude. Could the diaspora of this fact vary a lot among future professionals?


Upskilling – A Strategic Approach

There could be as many as SIX areas which must be considered in order to gain that edge and ramp up employability.

Find a Mentor and Stay Informed: Connect with Mentors who have seen it all and seek guidance. Understand, mentors are different from coaches and trainers and thus adjust your expectations accordingly. One way to derive best out of this relationship is to do homework prior to your discussions, in terms of what’s happening in the world of your technology.

Upskill in the wanted technology: Find training avenues which just don’t impart technological knowledge instead they go beyond and deliver Skills and Experience.

Gain professional skills: There are certain key skills which are consistent with any profession. IT or Engineering professions are not exceptions. The criticality of this set of skills can’t be emphasized more, thus move ahead and build it or sharpen it as may be the case.

Build 21st Century Skills: Four C’s of this skill set has been talked a lot in the ecosystem. Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication are those kinds of skills which do not come to us automatically through our education system. That’s why you have to build them with precision.

Stay with Growth Minded People and Build Network: There are plenty of means in today’s era to be a part of powerful associations who move towards the common goal of upskilling. In the process, work towards making a meaningful network of genuine professionals.

There could be a thought now: “Oh, it’s too much of work which will engulf a lot of time and effort.”Followed by questions like: “It’s not possible as I have a day job.” Or “I don’t have resources to accomplish these SIX Actions and execute like a solid strategy.”


I will close this with one suggestion.

“Seek a Solution Provider, who can empower you to perform all SIX and make you employable or help you to get that bigger paycheck.”

About the author

Nishant Bhushan is a thorough professional who carries almost a decade of experience in service industry. Previously, he was associated with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, where he made pivotal contributions to continuous process and quality improvement, client service, content management, quality control, training and development, to name a few. He has delivered skill development programs at various organizations, to name a few: Bharat Dynamics Limited, Big Dutchman, Radisson, IHM.

In his new role, he continues to help enterprises by filling Skill and Process Gaps. Nishant is also a published author ‘Parwaaz’, and loves to devote time consistently to reading.