Article: Promoting a work-centric learning model

Skilling

Promoting a work-centric learning model

People Matters talks to Hari Menon, CEO of IndiaSkills, a joint venture between Manipal Education and City & Guilds
 

His provocative and yet loving style has made many leaders ask new questions that have made a big difference to the lives of many leaders and organizations.

 

What is the size of the market in the non-graduate professional education space?

    You will be surprised to know that around 8 million youth drop or opt out the education funnel between Class X and graduation every year, in urban India alone. That is the incremental size of the youth market to be catered to in the non-graduate education space every year. A significant bulk of this group ends up underemployed or unemployed. Those who enter the workforce lack relevant skills because of the education mismatch and lack of quality skills training options.

    Industry on the other hand faces a huge demand of skilled manpower at entry level. The shortage is across almost all sectors given the nature of economic growth and the increasing standards of quality and technology that industry needs to adopt. Both new economy sectors and older brick & mortar sectors face challenges both in numbers and quality.

Can you explain the business model of IndiaSkills and the sectors to which it caters?

    IndiaSkills is all about meeting industry demands for skilled manpower through world class skills training programs centered on workplace needs. The City&Guilds qualification portfolio and more importantly the process know-how on developing qualifications in a manner relevant to industry and learners in India is one pillar of our business model. We will merge this with the capability that we have access to from Manipal Education, in delivering distributed education. What you will have is a national footprint of learning centres that can deliver a wide range of industry and job specific qualifications to learners and assess them against benchmark IndiaSkills certification standards for proficiency.

   I would like to clarify that we don’t necessarily see our market as non-graduate professional education. It is more about work centric qualifications that traditional education may not offer adequately.

Where do you see the biggest demand-supply mismatch for non-graduate trained personnel over the coming 5 years?

A consumption driven economy, growing middle class and huge disposable incomes mean that retail, hospitality & BFSI will be the fastest growth sectors on the service side, with about 20 million trained manpower need projected in the next five years by the National Skills Development Report 2009. The same report projects a demand of over 15 million skilled manpower in Construction. Specialized sectors such as Auto and Hair & Beauty are projected to need around 5 million skilled resources.

   With existing education streams not catering to this or being sub-optimal in terms of both quality and quantity, the biggest demand- supply mismatch will be seen here.

How big is the talent shortage in India in terms of trained non-graduate professionals?

   The National Skills Development Commission indicates that against a total skilled manpower demand of 83 Million by 2015, the current training capacity is 3 Million! Since most of this in terms of numbers is in the non-graduate professional space you can see how big the gap really is!

What do you think are the key reasons for this huge manpower shortage build-up in India?

   The reasons are manifold. Outdated learning programs with no relevance to industry needs, absence of industry experts in content creation or validation, significant shortage of quality trainers, lack of training standards among existing training entities are some primary reasons for this shortage.

What are the key aspects that Government, Industry and Educational institutes can do together to address this demand-supply?

    Quality vocational skills education and training is the need of the hour. For achieving the same, I see government as the driver, industry as an enabler and skills training entities as the facilitators of this change.

   Government has a key role in the entire value chain - from policy development and developing a vocational education framework and in making skills education funding simpler for the needy. Industry, by participating in content development, validating programs and preferentially rewarding learners who invest in their own skills. Educational institutes can be important players in partnering delivery of the best programs to their learners.

 


 

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