In Part 1 of the article, We started exploring how to bridge the skill gap and specifically looked at the happening in software or IT industry. We continue to explore whether skill development practices from software industry can be replicated in areas where the industry jobs are becoming 100% dependent on software. BFSI sector makes uses of computers extensively and we need to think how to bridge skill gap for fresh accountant in corporate environment, bank executive joining in branch and insurance executive in insurance office. Can the computer provide the way to scale skill development in BFSI sector. These are reflection from my thought process to arrive at approach to bridge the skill gap.
- Get theoretical instruction and practical training directly linked to the business requirements of companies in vocational areas. Does this linkage needs to reduce the gap between skills required by companies and available labour trained in those skills?
- Can theory classes be conducted in the environment closely associated with the requirements of the marketplace? The theory classes needs to be blended with working technical or pedagogical approaches to equip the student for a career, beyond the entry level job.
- Let us not attribute that skill development is for the realm of low achievers. How acquire skills desirable at entry point to a successful career for majority of youth? We find that a lot of company CEOS and senior management people had not purely come from university. They also came working their way up the organizational hierarchy and learning skills enabled them to grow higher.
- What should the student learn beyond soft skills to be empowered to visualize the career opportunities available in companies? Start salaries are higher in BPOs and student start to focus on the soft skills to enable them get high salary in their initial jobs. It is unfortunate that students miss to plan skills needed for a long term career.
- How to empower students to identify and choose their tool? Let us not push existing tool and make them learn concepts and mature in concepts than doing clicks. Today I see people are more dependent on a tool as they know how to perform things with a tool and are less aware of the concepts.
- How to expose students to working environment in companies and organizations? Can this be made hands-on experience? Can this provide a 360 degree view? This would help to create attractive skilled resources who can “hit the ground running” when they enter their first employment position.
- Across hands-on experience, how to encourage students to make mistakes and learn from mistakes in the dummy work environment? Once they join the work, the access permission settings of software does not provide them with environment to make mistakes.
- Across hands-on experience, How to collect metrics and ensure a continuous improvement and feedback loop is available?
I would also like educators and industry to partner and explore whether skill development can be offered to students as part of the college curriculum. When the the student attend vocational course along with the college system, here are benefits to students, corporates and skill development.
- The students are not shut off to the university path.
- Students have option to pursue for higher university studies and neither spend extra time for the vocational course. undergoing skill development has long term impact on their careers.
- Better student in skill development can encourage to become facilitator in the areas of skill development. This would motivate students to look at skill development in positive way.
- CSR of corporates can be focused on capacity building by nominating their faculty to train facilitator and also working with interested people to facilitate arriving at an approach to impart skill development to students. Corporates can provide stipend to motivate students and encourage them to become facilitators.
Let us make skill development a need for student, corporate and the country. Will it become possible to have skill development as means of learning post 5 years of work experience too? Will it be able to make use of computer based learning to offer skill development?