By Sumit Kumar
In the job market today, the demand for skills and capabilities prevails over basic qualifications as employers are focusing more and more on acquiring a skilled workforce. Given this, students need to focus on courses that offer them a combination of school learning as well as on ground training. In order to bolster this trend, educational institutions have been partnering with industry bodies and corporates in order to re-align their learning ecosystem and produce a job-ready workforce. Employability is the buzzword in the employment market today, where every stakeholder is working towards building a high-value pool of employable talent in the industry, making it imperative for students to keep in mind certain trends that can help them improve their chances of landing a job.
Adopt apprenticeship models to boost your skills
Apprenticeships models are adopted globally to help enhance the employability quotient of the youth. The principle of “learning by doing” and “earning while learning” has been tried and tested to create employable resources across the world. In Germany, an apprenticeship is an integral part of the education system. Similarly, in China, there are about 20 million apprentices who go on to become a part of the labour market.
In India, the concept of apprenticeship was introduced in 1961, however, the system has been highly underutilized. Over the last few years, the trend has gained significant momentum. In 2014, the latest amendment in the act has made apprenticeship conducive for both employers and candidates. While traditionally apprenticeship was restricted to technical roles, by introducing ‘optional trade’, even non-technical and service jobs are now covered under apprenticeship models. The NAPS (National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme) introduced by Ministry of Skills and Entrepreneurship to incentivize employers as well as students to take up apprenticeships. Additionally, the BOAT (Board of Apprenticeship Training/Practical Training) has been introduced under the National Apprenticeship Training Scheme (NATS) by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India. The youth must choose to take advantage of such schemes and opportunities to fine-tune their skills and make themselves job ready.
Choose integrated learning as an add-on to traditional education
It is clear that standalone learning platforms are not sufficient to build capabilities desired in the workplace and hence, a blend of classroom studying with on the job training will enable students to adapt to the skills needed by the industry. Technology will play a crucial role in this by enabling digital and virtual classrooms which will make learning more flexible, customized, highly accessible and cost-effective.
Increasing industry-university partnerships
To create job-ready candidates it is elementary to improve University and industry partnerships. Universities are designing programs with inputs from employers to make it relevant to industries. In this setup, candidates are exposed to a customized curriculum and industry experience which further bolsters their capabilities. Furthermore, this also helps candidates develop cognitive skills which employers dedicatedly look out for.
Currently, these industry-linked programs are limited to the technical domain (especially manufacturing & ITI), but now these programs are extending to non technical streams like retail, healthcare, logistics, finance, human resources, and the IT sector as well.
Employer establishments will be the new classrooms
Onsite learning will rewrite the definition of a traditional classroom and employer establishments are likely to emerge as the future of the learning ecosystem. Real time on-demand training at the workplace will have more impactful learning, making candidates instantly job-ready.
Re-skill and up-skill to be job ready for future roles
Consistent skill training is fundamental for candidates to remain employable. With continuous disruption across industries and technological evolution, job roles and continuously changing. To stay ahead of the curve and remain employable, it is imperative that candidates constantly re-skill themselves. Students need to stay ahead of the technology curve and adopt mechanisms and learning models which will help them fine tune their skills and be ready to take on the opportunities the eco-system has to offer.
Sumit Kumar is the Vice President of NETAP at TeamLease Services
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