The future of industries is set to have never-before-seen possibilities as we step into the fifth generation of wireless networks and ground-breaking technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Billions of devices connected and sharing data in real-time with ultra-low latency and ultra-high speeds create enormous possibilities for industrial transformation.
This new digital age is about industrial automation and agile digitalisation. Industries are now under constant pressure to improve efficiency, quality, safety and competitiveness and face a huge scramble when they adopt these many new technologies – skilled manpower.
A significant gap between the skilled and technical workforce in the ecosystem needs to be bridged aggressively. India, being a hub of workforce talent, not only needs the correct direction and guidance to make the best out of this untapped potential but also must also become an exporter of technical skills across the globe. Now that 5G spectrum auctions are completed and deployment is pipelined for 2022, the disparity between workforce demand and supply must be bridged.
According to the Overview: Indian Telecom Market 2022-23 Report by the Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC), there remains a supply-demand gap of 28% in India's telecom sector and 21.1% for tech talent as of 2022.
5G technology observed a 19% CAGR growth in the talented workforce in India in FY2021-22.
For technologies like cloud computing, the demand-supply gap remained at a high of 35.7% in FY2021-22 while the talent CAGR grew at 15.7% from 2017 to 2022.
In AI and Big Data Analytics, the industry requirement was at 20,700 whereas the talent delivered remained at 15,100, which brings the demand-supply gap to about 27%. Despite this, the industry showed one of the highest 19.33% talent CAGR growth among the other emerging technologies.
There is a vast untapped reservoir of the workforce in the nation's Tier-2, Tier-3, and rural geographies. As more and more multinational companies are planning to shift their manufacturing facilities to India to benefit from the PLI or DLI scheme, they will require skilled, trained, and ready professionals to fill the demand.
Leveraging the existing government skilling infrastructure is an optimal way to achieve the objectives at the most minimal time and cost factor. Setting up centres of excellence using the hub and spoke model in installed educational infrastructures such as existing ITI/Polytechnic institutes and utilising their reach to penetrate training for entry-level and specialised job roles will expedite the training initiatives to bridge the gap between demand and supply.
Exploring the untapped potential for a technical workforce has become the utmost priority for our nation. Industry-validated certifications by incumbent enterprises who have proactively embraced the new digital paradigm must be invested in to scale up an industry-ready and agile workforce.