Article: Upskilling India for the future workforce


Upskilling India for the future workforce

India's strategic upskilling initiatives are essential to bridge the skill gap and thrive in the evolving global employment landscape driven by automation and AI.
Upskilling India for the future workforce

“Build your skills, not your resume” Facebook’s former COO Sheryl Sandberg could not have said it better. The world of employment is undergoing a dizzying transformation squarely driven by automation and technological advancements. This presents a massive albeit challenging opportunity for India to thrive in the global employment landscape.

The global reskilling imperative

The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2030, automation will displace 800 million jobs globally while creating 525 million new ones. The report estimates that in the next six years, 600 million people globally will need reskilling and upskilling. This means that there must be a continuous learning mindset and adaptation for workers around the world to ensure skilling upgradation. The Forum's ‘Reskilling Revolution’ initiative aims to address this challenge by equipping a billion people with the skills they need for the jobs of tomorrow. The programme especially brings in a focus on critical areas like digital skills, leadership, and green jobs.

India's position in the reskilling transformation

As an economic leader, India is well set to reap the riches in this reskilling transformation. In fact, a report by the ed-tech platform Great Learning found that an overwhelming 85% of Indian professionals surveyed believe upskilling is important to future-proof their careers, compared to just 76% on a global scale. This data reflects a strong national drive and, very importantly, the individual desire to develop the skills needed to compete and excel in the evolving job market.

The era of artificial intelligence

This is indubitably the era of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is transforming industries, and this trend will only accelerate in the future. While AI may automate some jobs, it will also create new ones that require human-AI collaboration. A McKinsey Global Institute study forecasts that automation could displace 85 million jobs globally by 2025, impacting various sectors in India as well. However, the study also suggests that up to 95 million new jobs could be created in areas like AI, robotics, and data analytics, emphasising the need for reskilling in these emerging fields.

Bridging the skill gap

Working effectively alongside AI will be a crucial skill for future workers. Moreover, generative technologies like AI-powered design tools will match the creativity and problem-solving skills needed to pilot this evolving environment. Another interesting report by the World Economic Forum and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimates a potential skill gap of 23 million by 2030 in India, highlighting the urgency for upskilling initiatives. Not to mention a TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship insight that showcases that over 80% of Indian companies are actively looking to upskill their workforce to meet the demands of the digital age.

To bridge this skilling gap and ensure India's workforce is prepared for the future, certain strategies must be implemented. As always, the government will play a crucial role in promoting upskilling initiatives by providing funding, establishing skill development frameworks, and collaborating with the private sector. Planning for the future must include educational institutions and training providers working closely with industries to identify current and future skill needs and design the relevant curriculum. Additionally, for individuals, a culture of lifelong learning must be encouraged to continue skill development throughout one's career. Ultimately, the responsibility for upskilling lies within. Workers must take a proactive approach to identifying skill gaps in the system and pursuing learning opportunities.

Studies suggest that investment in upskilling could potentially add $570 billion to India's economy by 2030. Our country’s workforce must be equipped with the skills needed to not only compete but thrive in the global employment landscape of the future. This is imperative for India's continued green pastures in economic growth and development.


India has a golden opportunity to become a leader in the future of global employment. By implementing upskilling initiatives through the collaboration of governments, educational institutions, businesses, and individuals, the country can effectively bridge the skill gap in the digital age. Today’s skills determine tomorrow’s knowledge. Equipping our workforce with the necessary skills not only ensures their employability but also positions India as a formidable force in the global economy. The journey towards a skilled India is not just a necessity but a strategic imperative that will drive our nation towards sustainable growth and prosperity.

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Topics: Skilling, Employment Landscape, #Artificial Intelligence

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