Article: Skilling up: Unlocking India's $5 trillion economy


Skilling up: Unlocking India's $5 trillion economy

The construction sector, a cornerstone of the national GDP, faces significant hurdles due to a severe shortage of skilled labour. In response, robust training programs have been established to equip workers with the necessary skills.
Skilling up: Unlocking India's $5 trillion economy

India has set itself the bold ambition of breaking into the $5 trillion economy club, with the country investing in everything from infrastructure to its space programme to realise its economic aspirations. From building glitzy new airports to vital road links, from beefing up its manufacturing muscle to establishing the country as an R&D hub, from playing an increasingly more influential role in global politics to successfully landing on the moon, India is giving it everything in its pursuit of the $5 trillion goal.

Building infrastructure, manufacturing capabilities, and geopolitical influence are crucial for India to achieve its aspirational economic watermark. However, skilling is the true key to igniting the growth necessary for India's ascent into the $5 trillion club.

Importance of skill development

India enjoys a demographic advantage as the world's most populous country, with over half its population under 25 and nearly two-thirds within the working-age range. This makes our population our greatest asset. To leverage this potential, it's crucial to equip both current and future workforces with the necessary skills.

The importance of skill development is more critical than ever due to the transformative effects of technology on work and daily life. Innovations like Artificial Intelligence, Industry 4.0, and robotics are reshaping the job market by creating challenges and opportunities. As automation handles repetitive tasks, human roles will need to evolve, requiring new skills and enhanced collaboration with AI.

In response, the Government is committed to preparing a skilled workforce to thrive in this dynamic setting. The Skill India Mission, a significant national initiative, has made impressive strides, as noted by our Finance Minister during the interim budget presentation. Approximately 1.4 crore youth have been trained under this mission. Despite the daunting task posed by our vast population of 1.4 billion and the extensive need for skill transformation, achieving our goals is attainable with robust support from the private sector.

Skilling development in the construction industry

At the core of India's economic growth, the construction industry contributes significantly, accounting for 9% of GDP and employing 74 million people across diverse landscapes. Despite its pivotal role, the sector faces major challenges, including skilled labour shortages and limited training access, leading to cost escalations and project delays.

As of 2023, the construction sector is India's second-largest employer, with 71 million workers, but there is a substantial skills gap. According to a report by Knight Frank and RICS, only 19% of the workforce are skilled, with the remaining 81% considered unskilled.

With advancing construction technology, the demand for skilled operators who are technically proficient and possess soft skills like communication and problem-solving is increasing. Training programmes are evolving to meet these needs, incorporating a comprehensive skill set that prepares operators for modern construction demands.

Summing it up

The industry’s landscape is transforming, necessitating a workforce that is not only technically adept but also adaptable to new technologies. Customised training programmes, tailored to specific company needs, are promoting collaboration between stakeholders and training organisations to meet these evolving demands.

Embracing new technologies, while disruptive, is essential for unlocking growth and improving economic prospects. As technology reshapes industries, equipping our workforce with the right skills is crucial for harnessing these advancements, paving the way for India to achieve a $5 trillion economy.

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Topics: Skilling, Talent Management, #DayInFocus, #SkillUp

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