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Wadhwani Foundation emphasizes the need to empower students with “21st Century Employability Skills

by News Monks

The theme of World Youth Skills 2021, “Reimagining Youth Skills Post Pandemic,” reflects the changing skilling paradigm in post-pandemic era where upskilling and reskilling for the digital and rapidly changing industry needs will become a norm. The skilling domain in post-pandemic times clearly needs a new game plan, and the prospect of ‘anytime, anywhere’ skilling has immense potential.

Speaking on the fast-changing skilling paradigm in post-pandemic times, Sunil Dahiya, Executive VP, Wadhwani Opportunity at Wadhwani Foundation, said, “On this World Youth Skills Day, Wadhwani Foundation reiterates its mission to empower the youth with family-supporting wages by equipping them with 21st-century employability skills. The most significant post-pandemic change in the business world will be the permanent shift to a distributed workforce that operates remotely. This has emerged as the single most significant driver of digital transformation and platform-based services on which the future of skills will be based. Hence, a paradigm shift to hybrid skilling operations is inevitable, and Wadhwani Foundation has taken the lead with its employability courses running on cloud and thousands of students across three continents benefiting from the same.”

On this day, Wadhwani Foundation is keen to highlight some key trends and fact-checks that will redefine and reinvent the skillsets required for the new-age workplace.

Key Trends:

  • A new ‘work from home’ normal has redefined work operations
  • Fundamental changes in the future of work, workforce and the workspace
  • Online models’ led innovation in skills ecosystem
  • Widespread tech-adoption means new in-demand skills across jobs
  • With service-based economies thriving, employability or soft skills will earn a premium; Fresh talent will be equipped with soft skills

  • Focus on upskilling and reskilling and early skilling on multi-skillsets

  • Re-examination of the learning pedagogy & methodology.Tech-based digital & hybrid training models will account for disruptions in the workforce

The Wadhwani Opportunity initiative of Wadhwani Foundation has determined the clear need of training the students on 21st-century core employability skills (soft skills) after discussions with industry experts and a survey of 1100+ companies across eight cities in India which clearly showed that soft or employability skills (attendant to domain or hard skills) are in great demand and most employers are willing to pay a premium on the same.

Key Facts:

  • A “Future of Jobs Report 2020” by the World Economic Forum points out that 42% of the #skills required to perform existing jobs will change with interpersonal skills gaining importance. The report cites critical thinking and problem-solving as the employers’ most favoured skills over the next five years and says that 84 percent of employers will digitize working processes rapidly.
  • A recent McKinsey Global Survey found that companies have accelerated digitizing of their customer and supply-chain interactions and internal operations by three to four years. The share of digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by seven years.
  • A “FICCI, NASSCOM & EY “Future of Jobs in India – a 2022 perspective” report states that by 2022, 9% Indians will be in jobs that do not exist today and 37% of the Indian workforce would be employed in jobs with radically changed skill sets.
  • As per ‘India Skills Report 2019’, 84% of Indian students prefer #internships. However, only 37% of organizations provide such opportunities for students.

Although the pandemic is a global crisis of historic proportions and magnitude, and has led to businesses deviating from past normals, this has also accelerated the need for reshaped and redefined skillsets as tech-led digital and hybrid training models will now increasingly account for disruptions in the workforce. In essence, the COVID crisis has led to stalling of the good-old, traditional classroom & lab training for millions of the youth and brought tremendous focus to reskilling, upskilling and multiskilling. We now need to re-examine the learning pedagogy and methodology models and bring the focus on early skilling on multi-skillsets for enhancing employment generation”, adds Sunil Dahiya.

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