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Why India needs a skills-based approach to build workspaces of the future

By adopting a multi-skilling approach, India can create a more versatile and resilient workforce capable of adapting to the evolving demands of the digital era.

In today’s rapidly evolving global landscape, the digital economy is reshaping how businesses operate and the skills required to succeed. As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, India is witnessing massive changes in how businesses work.

As we step into the super intelligence era and to keep pace with the rapid changes in demands of the future, it is crucial for India to adopt a skills-based approach to building its workplaces and equipping its workforce with the necessary competencies.

With a growing young population, India’s demand for quality education and training is also expanding at a significant rate. The country has more young adults aged 18-22 than anywhere in the world, which is projected to peak at 126 million in 2026.

As the economy grows at nearly 7 percent, the need to skill and upskill India’s workforce of the future has never been more pressing than it is now.

To better understand the importance of why India needs a skill-based approach to build workspaces of the future, Sunil Dahiya, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Foundation.

RAPID TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT

One of the main reasons India needs a skills-based approach is the rapid pace of technological advancement. Industry 4.0, characterised by integrating cyber-physical systems, AI, the Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics, is transforming industries across the globe.

To leverage these emerging technologies, businesses require a workforce proficient in data analysis, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cybersecurity. Interestingly, the industry has also started giving more weight to skills over qualifications.

GROWING DIGITAL CONNECTIVITY
One important transformation in India is how digital connectivity is growing, particularly in rural areas. By 2025, India is projected to have 850 million online users. Half of these users, or 425 million people, will be in rural areas.

As a result of this rising digital connectivity, the number of students enrolled in online programs was 2.2 million in 2022, up from 1.6 million in 2016.

EMBRACING A SKILL-BASED APPROACH

The digital revolution has ushered in an era of automation, artificial intelligence, and advanced technologies. Traditional job roles are being disrupted, and new opportunities are emerging.

India must embrace a skills-based approach that equips individuals with relevant and adaptable capabilities to thrive in this environment. This shift departs from the traditional emphasis on degrees and qualifications toward a greater focus on skills acquisition and development.

PROMOTES INCLUSIVITY AND BRIDGING SKILL GAPS
Moreover, a skills-based approach promotes inclusivity and empowers individuals from diverse backgrounds.

It provides an opportunity to bridge the existing skill gaps and create social and economic mobility pathways by focusing on skills rather than traditional credentials.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SUCCESS IN THE DIGITAL ERA
In the age of the digital economy, several key skills are essential for success. First and foremost is digital literacy. Individuals must possess basic computer literacy and be comfortable using digital tools and platforms.

This includes proficiency in using productivity software, navigating the internet, and leveraging online communication tools. Digital literacy is the foundation upon which more advanced skills can be built.

Additionally, adaptability and agility are vital skills in a rapidly changing environment. Learning new technologies and adapting to evolving job roles is crucial. Individuals must be open to continuous learning and upskilling to stay relevant in their careers.

Communication and collaboration skills are also important. Effective communication and collaboration across virtual teams are essential, with remote work becoming more prevalent.

Individuals who can communicate clearly, collaborate with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, and leverage digital collaboration tools will be highly valued.

Lastly, a strong understanding of cyber security is becoming increasingly critical. As businesses digitise their operations, protecting sensitive data and maintaining online security are top priorities.

 

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Why India needs a skills-based approach to build workspaces of the future

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