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NEXT STEP FORWARD… Industry guru Alok Bansal answers all important questions on upskilling and how it can lead young professionals on a successful career path



Industry guru Alok Bansal answers all important questions on upskilling and how it can lead young professionals on a successful career path

The world is constantly changing. We are thrown with new challenges and demands each passing day. Hence it is extremely important to stay updated
and to upgrade ourselves to stay relevant in this competitive world. This month, we have our Mr Alok Bansal, Managing Director (Visionet Systems India) & Global Head (BFSI Busines) to help you understand the essence of upskilling.

How will upskilling help in preparing professionals in the country?

I hope that these 30 Skill India centres will help bridge the gap between academic degrees and employability in the post-pandemic, hyper-digitized job market. Without skill-development systems and frequent upskilling modules, the potential of India’s demographic dividend cannot be utilized fully. Conventional education does not really prepare young professionals to join industries where new-age technologies like AI, Machine Learning, coding, Robotics, Mechatronics, IOT, 3D printing, drones, etc., and soft skills are becoming increasingly important. I am glad that Budget 2023 envisions the skilling of lakhs of youth within the next three years by offering them on-job training, industry partnerships, and courses that align with the needs of the industry. Ihope this will also contribute to healthy employment generation while taking into consideration micro and macroeconomic conditions so that collectively we can stride towards the long-term goal of a $5 trillion economy.

What has been the current situation of skilling in the country?

The unemployment figures are indicative of massive skilling gaps and I welcome the government’s increased focus on this issue. There is a supply and demand faultline that I hope the vision of the current budget will repair. We cannot also forget that there exists a digital as well as gender inequity when it comes to diverse employment and entrepreneurial opportunities. This is why Visionet introduced a free-skilling initiative ‘Unnati for India’ in May 2020 to empower young men and women in tier 2 and 3 cities who aspire to work in the technology sector or to start their own businesses via digital platforms but do not have the requisite skills. Our workforce has also absorbed a large number of trainees, including a large number of women, who had joined ‘Unnati for India.’ For the economy to grow in a sustainable manner, it is essential for women to get equal access to technological skills.

Has the government achieved the previous target for skilling people in the country?

Only the relevant government department can answer that question accurately. According to the Minister
of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Mahendra Nath Pandey, the government has met its skilling goals by training 1.07 crore youth by January 2021. I also welcome the increased emphasis on skilling that this budget is promising. As a country with a youth population of over 65%, we cannot afford spiralling unemployment rates and growing skill gaps. As I have said repeatedly, one way to reap our demographic advantage is through the skill development of the youth.

Last year the Pradhan Mantri National Apprenticeship Mela was also launched and I believe, offering apprenticeships is the most effective way to skill young aspirants. As a leader, I am cognizant of the increasing demand for professionals who are proficient in new age skills and so we are also doing our bit to formally upskill more employees within the company and also absorb as many freshly skilled trainees as possible. I truly believe, if our youth are skilled and empowered to take on the global workforce, India will soon develop into a formidable growth engine where all citizens have equal opportunities to grow and thrive

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