The plenary sessions at FICCI Global Skills Summit (GSS) 2019 deep-dived into a wide range of discussions. This included career guidance, HR Mobility and promoting apprenticeships with industry support. All the participants contributed their points keeping in mind their vision for making India Skill Capital of the world. The plenary was preceded by a keynote from keynote address by Prof. Dinesh Singh, Former Vice- Chancellor, University of Delhi, who set the tone and provided the larger context to place the points. Team NSN presents the snapshots of these sessions:
Keynote address by Prof. Dinesh Singh, Former Vice- Chancellor, University of Delhi
“Continuous lifelong learning process is education. The ability to discover ‘drumbeat’ or what we have inside us through external stimulus is what makes us relevant to the society and workplace. Today, skills are looked down upon but India has had a rich past of skilled people, artisans and craftsperson. In the past we were aware that knowledge and skills were two sides of the same coin. We need to bring back the glory, because, as Mahatma Gandhi said, what you do with your hands enters in your heart. Skills like plumbing and electricals should also be connected with higher knowledge systems, only then we can integrate education with skills and show aspirational pathways to youth. This is much needed when skilled work is taken up by robots and automated tools so we have to go deep into knowledge and understand at theoretical levels. Knowledge and action should go hand in hand, If we delink skills and knowledge we will pay a huge price, we need to put knowledge into action.”
The plenary session on career guidance was chaired by Ms Sunita Sanghi, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India
Ms Sunita Sanghi emphasised on the importance of ensuring that the demographic dividend should not turn into a disaster. “We need to have ability to discover and drumbeat to march onwards. These should be the pillars of any career counselling. In most of South Asian economies, the child is the last one to take the decision, others determine for him or her. Hence when the youth say that ‘this is not the career i wanted’ , it indicates lack of self-awareness that can open doors to look into the opportunities. This includes how we make a decision, how we make a transition and so on. Career guidance can be implemented successfully when are become sensitive to the importance of career counselling.” Ms Sanghi requested the panelists to focus on three important areas:
- What could be the policy framework at state and central level to empower the students
- Mobility pathway
- How private sector can play an important role
Ms Anuradha Prasad, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India
“We need to follow labour market trends to guide the youth to job opportunities. The challenge is to harness demographic dividend into productive labour force in the changing landscape of work. Due to AI, Robotics, automation, nature of jobs is changing, new jobs are emerging along with platform or gig economy. This has created many low-skill jobs that don’t need many qualifications. It is how do we make them understand jobs that are available, how to prepare for them. It is tough task to balance the skill gap with aspiration gap since the supply is far in excess of demand.
National Career Service Portal brings job seekers close to employment through NCS portal with over 3600 job roles. Counsellors are registered on the portal, it has scope for assessment test. The portal is also linked to MSDE portal for skills and it is also connected with scholarships. When we convert employment exchanges into model career centers, it has to be responsive, relevant and provide career guidance.”
Dr Harsh Singh, Senior Advisor, UNDP, India
Right career guidance can bridge the skill gap and there is a need to offer this across the states. We ran Disha program for 5 years and it has helped many young women in understanding jobs and careers. The women from marginalized group did not know what they wanted, both in the metro and hinterland. For 75% to 80% of women, their life aspirations were influenced by what the neighbourhood girls were doing, which was mostly government jobs and teachers’ jobs. After counselling, their career choices became diversified. We need more exposure to employability and entrepreneurship at the college level. For instance we need Mini MBA programs at the rural level to impart managerial skills. This is possible only when we have career research, guidance and outreach.
Ms Suman Sachdeva, Education Specialist, UNICEF India
We have to create awareness about career options right from the grassroots level. Mainly for girls, whose career aspirations are limited to becoming a teacher or a nurse, our research shows that proper information dissemination is important. With right Knowledge, Skills and Attitude (KSA) women can break barriers around subjects. School can get started with career guidance and impart life skills too. Career guidance is about helping them face the situation cope with it and develop resilience.
Mr Ajay Lalwani, Country Head, CIMA India
“More than 65% of the students get a degree which has no relevance. Even when the students get placed in a job they change them later. Awareness about employability is important and this can be achieved through career guidance. Aspiration for the right job has always been there among the youth but there was no guidance. There has to be accreditation for career guidance counsellors to bring in high professional standards.”
Ms. Ravneet Pawha, Deputy VP Global and CEO (South Asia), Deakin University
Career counselling needs to be embedded into the DNA of the education system. We need a strong bottom-up approach because the actual stakeholder, i.e the students are at the grassroots. The students need to be equipped with life skills; as per the OECD and WEF report there are 17 life skills, every human needs. This includes employment skills, digital skills and leadership skills. In Australia, we have a portal wherein you can create a profile and give access to your mentor. TAFE colleges are based on skills, if you need the best plumber or gardener – industry bodies have to play an important role, link the university to ensure career progression and knowledge.
Mr K V Praveen Raju, Founder, Suchitra Academy
The job scenario is changing rapidly; Uber and Swiggy jobs didn’t exist 5 years ago and we are talking about driverless cars and drones. Later these jobs may not exist. The pace at which technology is changing brings in a need for balancing humans with technology. Some of the key skills include emotional intelligence, values, empathy so that the youth can address the challenge in their careers. For vocational training we need to create a lot of awareness through TV, radio and other media. Many are not aware that in Badminton, entry level coaches get paid very well. Proper awarenes and guidance about jobs, apprenticeships should be undertaken
Ms Pervin Malhotra, Director, Career Guidance India (CARING)
Career counselling is crucial in making India future-ready. In the past, when we collected data on every possible career and tried to gauge students’ awareness about jobs, only 4 or 5 popular careers were known to them. Besides curating information, through career counselling, we have to equip the youth to be lifelong learners and self-learners. Instead of feeding them with information, we should empower them to search it for themselves.
Mr Sanjib Kumar Rout, Chairman, C. V. Raman College of Engineering
Industry 4.0 offers many challenges in terms of updating the curriculum of engineering colleges. Today the curriculum is defined by AICTE or autonomous bodies. However, there is an urgent need to integrate it with future skills. Students need to train themselves in latest technologies and it has to be embedded in the engineering curriculum. This is also essential to become employable.
The plenary session on HR Mobility: Shifts in Global Labour Market was chaired by Mr Bijay Sahoo, Chair, FICCI SDC and Group President HR, Reliance Industries Ltd
Mr Bijay Sahoo initiated the discussion by drawing attention to the fact that many people going out to work in other countries. As per trends, 30 million migrate from India and this has increased during IT boom, and before that it was the construction industry that contributed to international labour migration.
Dr Amer Awadh Al Rawas, Founding Partner of Paradigms Consulting LLC & Former Group CEO, Tasnea Oil & Gas Technology, spoke about the demand side of skills and delved deeper on how latest technology will impact jobs, particularly Artificial Intelligence and 3D printing. He has seen people migrating to GCC countries in oil and gas sector and others when infrastructure boom required huge numbers in Oman. This was followed by the services industry creating more jobs. Hence, there has always been a need for people with high productivity. Adaptability has been a problem they could work only on one skill (they should be able to learn faster, emotional skills, business acumen, social skills, they should see the value they bring to business, and see the impact of external factors). He also lauded the progress of Indians in Oman and said that many Indians are successful entrepreneurs in Oman.
Dr. T L S Bhaskar, CAO, Indian Center for Migration and Mr. Vasudeva Nayak, Executive Director, Global Mobility, Fakhoury Global Immigration presented their views on the mobility of workforce and issues therein. Sharing his insights, Dr Bhaskar said that certain geographies require specialized skill sets and certain shifts in the immigration policy are evolving. This will benefit the industry and at the same time, welfare and protection of migrant workers is gaining traction. Another positive trend is that many countries of origin and destination are addressing fluctuations in immigration policy and there is growing interest in mutual recognition of skills and qualification framework. There is an imminent need to collaborate for labour market info system so that the mismatch between the skill provider and recruiter (they don’t know what skills are needed) is reduced. Mr. Vasudeva Nayak added to the points discussed by bringing in the ease of migration and mobility with the help of relevant skills. He also spoke about how shifts in global labour markets have necessitated policy level changes that has an impact on the migrant workforce.
The plenary session on Apprenticeship and Productivity was chaired by Ms Veena Swarup, Former Director, HR, EIL
This session was chaired and moderated by Ms. Veena Swarup and the panelists were Mr. Rhys Williams, Project Director Victoria University-Ganpat University CoE; Mr. Surajit Roy, Sr Head, Apprenticeship Division NSDC; Col. Inder S Gahlaut, CEO Capital Goods Skill Council; Mr. Pawan Yadav, Head HR and Skill Development Subros Ltd and Mr. Amitabh Adhikary, Associate Director, HR, Agile Airport Services.
The panelists unanimously agreed on the need to promote apprenticeships on a war footing since it will help the industry and the job seekers. For the youth, apprenticeship is the best way to make a transition to the world of work and NSDC has taken up many initiatives to create awareness about the benefits of National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). Keeping this in mind the importance of apprenticeships, FICCI has compiled an apprenticeship report, which was released by the honourable Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey.
The value of apprenticeship should also be conveyed to the MSMEs who are the main job creators in our industrial ecosystem. Moreover, with many new job roles in the services sector getting added, we can expect better adoption across industries.