Digital Technologies is essential to bridge India’s skill gap, said a report from IT consulting firm Accenture. The report, “Fueling India’s Skill Revolution,” notes that skills such as complex reasoning, creativity, and socio-emotional and sensory perception cannot be taught through traditional teaching and learning.
“Intelligent technologies increasingly require people to hone more exclusively human skills such as creativity, empathy and ethical judgment,” said Rekha M Menon, chairman and senior managing director at Accenture in India.
“These skills cannot be acquired in the classroom. We must offer more experiential on-the-job training and help people adopt life-long learning as their jobs are transformed. Digital tools and applications — like artificial intelligence, analytics and blockchain — will be essential in delivering these new learning approaches,” Menon said.
The report recommends four actions that organisations in India — including government departments, industry bodies, academia, non-profit organizations and corporates — need to initiate to ensure that the country’s workforce has the skills needed for the digital economy.
Unify a fragmented ecosystem
Use digital platforms to connect the stakeholder ecosystem so that employers, education providers, start-ups and public agencies can work together to address skills demand, create jobs and tackle other challenges facing job seekers. Analytics could help identify the areas for intervention and recommend appropriate actions; and blockchain could improve the transparency and accountability of the process of awarding skills development grants.
Use blended learning models
Improve learning retention and ‘stickiness’ through blended learning formats that offer the optimal mix of in-person interaction, on-the-job learning and online learning.
Start at the source
Create a comprehensive skills-based learning path in schools and colleges and adapt curriculum in institutions of higher learning to cater to the broader needs of the digital economy.
Customize to the local context
Build technology solutions that can be applied at scale while being relevant to local needs. Ensure that digital solutions are affordable, device-agnostic, multi-lingual, and compatible with offline infrastructure.
“It’s critical that companies collaborate with the broader ecosystem to bridge the skills gap that is keeping India from harnessing its demographic advantage,” Menon said. “Organizations must recognize that they need to be innovative not just in developing products and services, but also in the way they offer learning opportunities that ensure their communities are ready for the future.”