What comes first? Skilling or jobs? What happens when skilled and trained professionals don’t get suitable jobs? How are we responsible for widening the skill-job gap? Let’s look at these scenarios: there’s a need for a driver for a small family and they place an advertisement or contact a recruiting agency. There’s a need for a systems engineer to manage their IT department in a mid-sized company and they invite job applications. There’s a temporary vacancy in a retail outlet for a sales person and they look for a suitable profile.
In all these situations we are looking for skilled professionals who know their job well and perform effectively. And, ideally we should be recruiting trained and certified professionals even if it means the job is for a domestic purposes (like the driver) or temporary (like the sales person). But, do trained people get a preference over others? Or, are most jobs like the ones mentioned above don’t require formal training? How to we ensure the skill-job connection and drive it from bottom up? These 5 points show some of the ways to link skilling with better productivity, quality of service, gainful employment and better employability.
Think beyond job creation: As employers, we are job creators. It doesn’t end at that; we are also a part of the ecosystem and a fast growing economy that depends on skilled professionals. So, as an integral element in the value chain, the need for skilled and trained people should be driven from the bottom-up. Without our cooperation, a driver, a carpenter or a sales person will find it hard to climb up the socially.
Insist on trained professionals: It’s true that we may not need formally trained people to fix things at home or even at work. It’s even more evident that for ages, we’ve followed the chalta hai policy of compromising of the quality of services. This requires a mindset change, unless the employers recognize the importance of training and certification and make it indispensable for any job, it cannot be supported from bottom-up.
Assess the long-term impact: By employing an unskilled person, even for a temporary position, we send that message that we are not keen on meeting the professional standards and consistent delivery of service. Such short-sighted decisions have a direct impact on your broader goals and outcomes in the long run – especially in terms of effectiveness and efficiency.
Training, at what cost? So, how do we decide that we keep aside a considerable portion of our budgets to recruit trained personnel? Is it the question of affording them or is it a matter of least priority? This issue can be addressed with proper planning that depends on whether you recruit trained staff or get them trained on the job.
Think specialization: Let’s admit it: expecting one person to handle many jobs that need specialized skills is not only unrealistic but also counterproductive. Since we live in the age of super-specialization, supported by new knowledge and evolving technology, it is inevitable that we fill a position that needs specialized skill with a suitably skilled person.
Our attitude towards development and vocational training is also affected by deep-seated sociocultural biases. One way to break the barrier is to recognize the value of skilling, appreciate the effort and and imbibe it in whatever jobs for domestic needs and small and medium businesses.
Image source: http://www.supportbiz.com/articles/news/union-govt-says-‘yes’-national-skill-development-agency.html