This one CSR initiative can bridge the skill gap in India

About two years ago a FICCI-E&Y (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry and Ernst & Young) report said that nine of ten MBAs graduating from colleges were unemployable. Same is the case with many engineering and other general colleges. The quality of the graduates in both the hard skills (technical or job specific) and soft skills (presentation, conduct, interactive abilities, etiquettes and leadership qualities) are in short supply, to put it mildly.
The central, as well as state governments, have launched various schemes to improve the technical as well as general education. The central government has also launched a skill development programme in a mission mode and yet the skill gap refuses to go. On the contrary the gulf between the industry demand and what the schools and institute supplies have been increasing by the day.
A talent manager in a company was ruing the fact that they don’t find a fit for their company’s needs among the fresh graduates. So they take in raw talent and nurture it later when the talent is ripe where her potential can be fully utilised its already time for them to fly to greener pastures.
Over a period of time, a short and medium term solution is emerging which can act as a template for the beleaguered corporate and manufacturing sector before large-scale systemic changes take place sometime in the distant future.
Tap into ITIs
A few years ago Maruti Suzuki Industries Limited adopted the Elathur ITI (Industrial Technical Institute) in Kozhikode, Kerala. The private company helped the government education centre to spruce up its infrastructure, upgrade it, enrich the curriculum and trained the trainers at the centre as well as worked on the softer skills of the trainees to increase their chance of employability.
The result was that within no time all the 90 graduates were absorbed either within the company or got a job at private workshops.
However, this is just a beginning today’s corporate entities, as well as manufacturing giants, can benefit from the experiences of the early movers to fix all the bugs in adoption and its smooth as well as profitable execution.
Connect, Consolidate & Upgrade
As there is a wide chasm between industry need and what the educational institutes are churning in terms of human capital the corporate world should sit together and think through the problem of impending Industrial Revolution 4.0.
Using the fundamentals of backward integration a company can map out its need as well as the needs of its sector in the next decade. Based on that they should study the curriculum of an ITI that is closest to their manufacturing plant and adopt it either in full or in parts. They should then work with the ITI faculty to re-programme the curriculum to suit their needs and the need arising in their entire sector.
The curriculum should be renewed every two to three years keeping the fast pace of change in the sector in mind and the trainers should undergo simultaneous upgrade programmes through the year with the help of online training manuals as well as offline training sessions. But preferably they should not be conducted during holidays or long summer breaks as that would engender resentment. It should go hand in hand through the academic session.
Once the human capital produced is of a quality that fits the industry standards the company should make it known to other companies that they can tap into the resource base for good quality human capital. However, the first right of refusal to hire would be with the company that has been supporting or has adopted the said ITI.
This way they would not only be investing the lesser amount to train a raw graduate by hiring him or her for a salary and then going through the pain of seeing them leave, they would also help enlarge the pool of employable workers.
In time the number of graduates with the right skills and requisite experience will increase and the pool will keep enriching itself by the fresh dose of new talent. The moment company realises its intervention has created enough professionals where a glut is imminent it should recalibrate its focus on other skills where there is an existing or an emerging skill gap.

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About indiadynamic

mediaperson worked for TWI, TVI, Dainik Bhaskar, UTV and Hindustan Times in all the divisions print, TV, radio and internet
This entry was posted in CSR, Economics, education, Strategy, Sustainability, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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