Article: The future of jobs and skills in India

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The future of jobs and skills in India

A combined report -Nasscom and EY throw light on how the demand for new skills and consequently the structure of the jobs are going to evolve in the coming years.
The future of jobs and skills in India

The global landscape of job roles has been a tale of rapid change. Over the past couple of years, the changing nature of work coupled with increasingly nuanced technologies on the rise, the future of jobs across the globe certainly holds a percentage of uncertainty. So, it seems to be the case with India’s job landscape; one which is already undergoing significant transitions due to emerging technologies. Transitions that may lead to nine percent of the country’s 600 million estimated workforce being deployed in new jobs that do not even exist today.

That has been the recent prediction in a combined report by industry bodies FICCI-Nasscom and EY. Titled ‘Future of Skills and Jobs in India’ the report aims to throw light on the future of jobs in India by 2022. 

The report stated that the current slowdown in job creation is a part of an overall adjustment to the change brought in by the various socio-economic reasons. The slowdown would continue across the next two years as companies struggle to restructure their business models, the report said. It added that in the next five years, the entire job landscape is poised to undergo a drastic change.  

The adoption of exponential technologies “is disrupting industries by creating new markets and India is at the cusp of this change”, said Anurag Malik, Partner, EY India, in the report.

The other key prediction stated by the report has been the fact that by 2022, around thirty seven percent of the workforce would be in jobs that would require “radically” changed skill sets. The report highlighted the impact of globalisation, demographics, and exponential technologies on the job landscape. Changing technology would in turn also give rise to old roles becoming obsolete as around 21 percent of the current workforce would face an “existential threat” due to the adoption of the upcoming new technologies, the report said. 

 It is important to note that the future of jobs by 2022 would be determined by the country’s response to 12 megatrends which includes, 

  • Under globalization - the level of exports, rapid adoption of exponential technologies, increasing/shrinking overseas job market for Indian workforce and level of FDI flows.
     
  • Under adoption of exponential technologies by Indian companies - the evolution of products/services into smart connected products and services, acceleration of the optimization of industry value chains, business innovation, the demand for a resourceful planet and sustainability and new work arrangements. 

  • And lastly, under demographic changes - rising size of the middle-class, high proportion of young population including millennials and increasing urbanization. 

Malik added that if Indian companies rapidly embrace these new technologies then they could potentially transform highly unorganised sectors like transportation, maintenance, food catering, and software development services into organised ones.

This might become the need of the hour as traditional job-creating sectors like IT and Telecom are undergoing several significant shifts. 

As Mr. R. Chandrashekhar, NASSCOM, added, “The report attempts to present a 2022 picture – a time when no one can afford to “rest on one’s laurels” but needs a continuous learning culture. Another important fact being seen is that non-tech firms are increasingly emerging as the source of information technology roles; for eg. automotive, aerospace, BFSI, telecom, retail, healthcare, etc.”  

The changed job landscape in 2022     

According to the report, exponential technologies in advanced markets are expected to improve productivity by 15-20% in the next five years, while 60-65% of the Indian workforce in the IT-BPM sector would be deployed in jobs that have radically changed skill sets, followed by 55-60% in BFSI and 50-55% in the automotive sector.

In the organized manufacturing and service sector, employment is expected to increase from the current 38 million to 46-48 million by 2022. All the new forms of employment are expected to add a further 20-25% to the workforce of the current dened “organized” sector in 2022. This would increase the share of the organized sector in the overall economy to 10% from the current 8%—approximately 60 million in a workforce of 600 million. Mr. Arunkumar Pillai, Partner - Skill Development, GPS, EY, added, “Today, there is pressing need to incentivize industries that are manpower intensive and have high employment elasticity. Leveraging the window available in the next three years will enable the Government to undertake large scale reforms in the education and training sector to ensure that the supply of an Industry 4.0 compliant workforce is readily available.”

The new forms of employment would include contract employees in the infrastructure sector, micro-entrepreneurs supported by MUDRA schemes, employer-entrepreneurs in technology-enabled employment models, freelance workers on online platform models, “Uber” workers, SME and artisan entrepreneurs on e-commerce platforms, delivery workers and service providers in the e-commerce ecosystem and employees in tech start-ups.

The findings of the report should be used a marker for incoming changes within the Indian economy and should help both policymakers and heads of industries more aware of how the future might just shape up. As Mr. Mohandas Pai, Chairman, FICCI Skill Development Committee & Chairman Manipal Global Education, adds that “there was an urgent need to collate and analyze data to understand in which sectors jobs were being created, what were the skills that were needed by industries and employers, and how productivity could be enhanced with re-skilling of workforce.” In order to mitigate the negative impact of incoming changes, more such close attention needs to be trends that arise in the coming years.

 

Topics: Jobs, Skilling

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