Skills are dynamic. A lot of changes are happening in the skill landscape. Skilloutlook team has an emil-based interaction recently with Sunil Dahiya, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Opportunity at Wadhwani Foundation. Here is the brief of the discussions.
1. How Skills are transforming amid technological innovations?
Technology innovations are transforming skills in the following ways.
- Content is now available in different formats for the learner (Audio, Videos, Chatbots etc.) as well as the same is designed to run on any size screen ( mobile & web compatible). Sessions are more lively and engaging now.
· The AR/VR capability to produce virtual lab is assisting the physical working on tools mode.
- Learning Management System (LMS) / Platform: The learning platforms have completely removed the need of any data entry by the learner. The data analytics capability has grown multiple times to produce very dynamic reports and analysis.
- Assessments: Digital continuous assessments (e.g. scenario-based) along with randomised MCQ’s with chatbot facilities have advanced the assessment model.
- Learning enhancement: Concepts like anytime-anywhere learning are seen in real-life where the learner can seamlessly login to multiple devices. Peer-to-peer chat and learning is more advanced now. Online conferencing technology tools have enhanced the learner experience in learning and participating remotely.
2. Is there any threat to workforce and job aspirants from Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning?
With the advent of AI & ML, there is a perception that it will lead to reduction in Jobs. However, this seems to be a myth as the inclusion of these technologies will produce many different and new kind of job roles than what we see today. While we might not see 50% of existing job roles today, but new kind of roles will emerge about which we do not even have adequate knowledge today. Who expected that a tea garden labour will have to learn drone flying and data analysis capability to match up to the advancements. It is just a matter of how fast can you learn.
3. How Wadhwani Foundation and Wadhwani Opportunity are working for Skilling the Youths? Please explain briefly
Wadhwani Foundation and its Wadhwani Opportunity initiative started by first meeting the Industry experts and concluding on the clear need of training the students on 21st century core employability skills (soft skills). Academia does impart the domain skills, however, there is a clear need to standardise the soft skill curriculum in Schools, ITIs, Polytechnics, Skill centres, Colleges & Organizations. Hence, we launched an end- to-end solution (from Mobilisation to Counselling to Training to Placements and Post Placements) for students undergoing skill training. Our goal is to ensure 15Mn students are effectively imparted with the 21st century employability skills and successfully placed in Industry with family supporting wages by Dec 2030.
4. Please elaborate on five Future Soft Skills where the youth should focus.
While different employability or soft skills have their own importance based on the context, listed below are the ones which are going to be important in times to come in an increased digital world marked by a new work culture.
- Creativity & Innovation
- Mental ability
- Analytical capability
- Lifelong Learning (Multi-skills)
- Technology Orientation
5. The Skills Gap is a major concern in many advanced economies. Where does India stand in the Skills Gap?
India is the youngest nation in the world with more than 50% of its population under 25 years. Also, more than a million youth are entering into the working age per month. A “FICCI, NASSCOM & EY “Future of Jobs in India – a 2022 perspective” report states that by 2022, 9% Indians will be in jobs that do not exist today and 37% of the Indian workforce would be employed in jobs with radically changed skill sets. The dire need of Industry 4.0 for an efficient, well-trained workforce is now accentuated further due to the pandemic and its fallout, with the skilling fabric of the nation witnessing the widening of existing fault lines. Thus, the prime focus will be to reinvent, reskill, upskill and multi-skill the workforce for dealing with the structural issues in the economy and the changing employment landscape where new emerging sectors like logistics, food delivery, fintech, BPOs etc. are expected to create more jobs.
6. What is the vision of the Wadhwani opportunity?
The vision of Wadhwani Opportunity is to annually train and place 2.5 million students with 21st century employability skills by 2025. For achieving this vision, Wadhwani Opportunity will leverage its 700+ hrs. of mobile & video-centric multilingual global content on cloud for 21st Century Skills with on-demand, AI-enabled access. Also, Wadhwani Opportunity is focused on Integrating skilling with shop-floor training to enable employers, vocational trainers, and academic institutes to adopt employability programs based on experiential learning, scenario-based simulations, progressive methodology, employer-centric content, and 24×7 digital assistance.