The recent trends in the industry and market has proved that no business can survive without striving to be dynamic and attaining a certain level of agility. This also proves entrepreneurs and management needs to always stay on their toes and always be on the look-out for market changes and interruptions. More importantly, it highlights the need for the blue-collar workers to focus on their skills and improving them. The job environment is consistently turning into a gig economy, where most workers can only get short-term contracts.
With the rise in technology and the growing popularity of Artificial Intelligence(AI), more and more jobs are getting mechanized. A lot of jobs that were manual labour intensive in the past have evolved into machine and software intensive.
Apart from this, there have been a lot of recent reports that have surfaced which show that in recent years there has been in a slowing in the traditional jobs market. The government too, in its bid to increase efficiency has reduced hiring in the Railways and Armed Forces. However, just because there has been a lack of growth in this job industry, it does not mean that jobs are not available in the market at all.
Due to the market conditions, there has been a huge growth in specialized sectors that has largely gone unnoticed by the average job applicant.
Employers are increasingly looking to hire specialists and skilled workers who can do what the traditional worker cannot. The problem was, until very recently, to identify these skills and finally learning them.
That is what ‘upskilling’ is.
Upskilling is the act of identifying relevant skills and learning them, not just for job growth, but also for personal growth.
It was nearly impossible for a job seeker to understand why they were not employable, or why, despite qualifications, employers were overlooking their applications. Even by identifying required skills, they were unable to make use of opportunities, largely due to lack of available resources and the costs involved. The Central Government’s efforts in the issue are therefore, very welcome and much needed.
The National Skill Development Corporation, Industrial Training Institutes, and various apprenticeship programs being run by the Central and State Governments are working extensively to make the youth and workers employable.
Employability refers to the ability of a prospective job seeker to get employed. Employability factors a lot of aspects, all of them dependant on the job seeker. It involves presentability, knowledge, certifications and most importantly, skills.
Any job seeker, once they identify the field of work they want to be involved in, can easily identify the relevant skills and learn them.
To identify such relevant skills as may be in demand by employers, a job seeker can access the internet. What should initially be done is to try and understand what employers are looking for and what kind of jobs and skills will be in demand in the near future.
The various seminars and sessions that are being held under the Skill India Mission is really helpful for workers. The counselling and guidance that is provided free of cost is quite useful for young job seekers. Apart from the counselling and guidance, the training for relevant skills is also provided at nominal costs at authorised government Skill Centres. Many of these Skill Centres also provide placement and job opportunities.
The Apprenticeship programs being run also allow skilled professionals to take on apprentices and earn extra while also providing mentoring to the youth.
It is quite obvious that upskilling is the need of the hour. Unfortunately, in India, despite the best efforts of the Government, agencies and NGOs, the blue-collar worker is still unaware of the need for it. If the average worker makes sure to skill themselves according to the requirements of the market, not only will they be able to earn a decent livelihood, they will also be able to benefit the nation’s economy and growth.