Over the last decade, the skill development and vocational training domain has been witnessing a paradigm shift. The skill development sector now has diverse opportunities and has been open to accepting people from varied backgrounds, experiences, different aspirations, skill sets and more.
The plethora of opportunities in the skill development sector has made it an attractive career choice among individuals who have the vision to create an impact on society. This sector has also been attracting young minds, especially millennials, industry experts, experienced professionals, etc. to build meaningful, satisfying and financially sustainable careers in this field.
Learn more about Tata STRIVE’s courses and their initiatives in skill development – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/tata-strive/
To understand more about the recruitment and jobs in skill development, challenges in finding the right talent, career growth and progress for individuals in this sector, we spoke to Mr. Mohit Deshpande, Principal Lead – Programme Development, HR, Admin and Infrastructure, Tata STRIVE.
Here are a few excerpts from our conversation. You can watch the complete conversation on our YouTube channel.
Q: Reflecting on your experience at Tata STRIVE, what is exciting about being in the domain of skill development and vocational training?
A: Most exciting part is that we are working towards creating better livelihoods for the individuals who lack opportunities. Vocational training linked to a few industries helps the learner visualise jobs and create aspirations in their minds about future growth. When it comes to entrepreneurship, it opens up various avenues for youth that create sustainable business practices for themselves and job opportunities for many others. Skilling is one of the most important nation-building activities from a sustainability and impact perspective. I am very proud to be working in this area and creating several opportunities for the people.
Q: How is the response to job openings at Tata STRIVE? Are there any challenges you face in the hiring process?
A: The responses to the job advertisements have been encouraging. We hire people from different domains ranging from partnerships to facilitation across various domains. However, there are a few challenges we face during the hiring process. We are finding it difficult to find the right expertise in digital domain courses like Cybersecurity, Full Stack Developer and niche domain/courses like modular furniture. So, for such niche domains, it is difficult to find trainers who have the perfect blend of facilitation as well as industry experience. Also, in some remote areas even though there is demand for certain courses, there is difficulty in finding the right candidates for certain job roles.
Q: What are some of the common expectations from the candidates or job aspirants for various roles in the domain of skill development and livelihood enablement?
A: While domain expertise is important to understand and deliver quality training, we majorly look for five behavioural competencies –
These are the five competencies we look for in the candidate. Apart from these competencies, at the senior level, we also look for empathy and influencing skills.
Q: What is the career path for trainers, mobilizers, managers and for other individuals to grow at Tata STRIVE in the skilling and TVET space?
A: There are a lot of different streams wherein an individual can grow. If we take an example of the Operations department, there are several roles ranging from mobilization to facilitator role. A facilitator can eventually graduate to a Project Manager or a Centre Manager.
If team management and target orientation are exciting for an individual, he/she can take up a leadership role in operations which are Cluster Managers and other regional level roles. There is also a lot of thrust on having a placement team in place and there are many job roles in the placement domain at both regional and national levels.
If someone wants to grow and become a subject matter expert. Then we have roles such as content writers, quality assessors, specialist facilitators with their experience.
There are also roles in talent development, for training our internal employees. Hence, depending upon an individual’s interest, one can choose a role.
Q: Do you also see people from the industry joining these roles?
A: It will be a great help if the industry practitioners join us, as they come with hands-on experience. They can help the learners to visualise and explain in a much better way. With few platform skills, industry experts can be a great asset to the organisation. It would definitely be beneficial if people from the industry could spare some time to train our learners at least once a week.
Q: What are some of the training programs and how often do you conduct them for fresh recruits and for those who’ve been on the job?
A: We have a customised induction programme, where the fresh recruits get to meet and interact with the stakeholders. For facilitators, the Train the Trainer programme is conducted for 8 to 10 days. In these 10 days of rigorous training, we provide platform skills, skills related to the technology and basic know-how skills are taught.
Apart from that, there are a couple of mandatory certification programmes expected from the employees:
Tata Code of Conduct
POSH Awareness Training
Defensive Driving Training
Earlier, training used to be in the classroom but after the COVID-19 pandemic, we started with the blended mode of learning.
Q: Are there any other points you would like to share?
A: I would say that the development sector is indeed an exciting area to work in. Whatever we do here has a direct correlation with creating an impact and enabling livelihoods for people. At Tata STRIVE, we believe in creating a unique impact and experience for the employees. We also understand the need to stay connected. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our employees were spread across 20 plus states and stayed connected. We ensured to begin drives from interest groups and divided 300 employees to each drive like fitness drive, photography drive, etc.
From a knowledge perspective, we conduct several SME sessions. This helps them stay connected with the industry. We have a training calendar that caters to the work of employees. At Tata STRIVE, we believe that learning is an individual’s responsibility. So every employee must spend at least 60 hours learning each year. Our team facilitates different courses and certifications and this also improves workplace effectiveness.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we also provided one-to-one counselling support, peer-to-peer recognition, and promoted a culture of recognition. Our leadership team also understands the importance of employee engagement and enthusiastically participates to encourage our employees to stay resilient.