To Bridge The Skill Gap we have to leverage technology-based learning solutions.
The current youth unemployment rate in India is at 16%. This alarming statistic points to a grim reality – young Indians don’t have the required skill set to succeed in the workplace. Our current education system is failing our youth, who lack communication skills to express simple ideas or have basic conversations with customers, colleagues and management.
India is transitioning to services and knowledge-based economy, with spoken English skills becoming the minimum requirement for any entry-level position. The table below shows that the majority of engineering graduates fall short of the English skills required across a variety of job roles:
While we need to fix our education system and address the root cause of the problem at the K-12 level, we simultaneously need to address this large skill gap at the young adult level. We can bridge this gap is by leveraging technology-based learning solutions.
These programs can have an immediate effect on large workforces over the span of a couple of months. Spoken English programs delivered via apps have shown an average increase in 1 CEFR level (international scale of language learning) by the end of 20 hours of self-learning.
Tech-driven training programs do face a couple of obstacles before they are officially adopted by an organization’s HR / L&D department. App-based self-learning is still a relatively new concept, so organizations are hesitant to enrol their employees in these programs. Additionally, an element of intrinsic motivation is required to go through the course – even with the gamified features, multiplayer options and leaderboards that allow employees and students to compete. The organization also has a limited training budget & the importance given to spoken English communication skills vary depending on an employee’s job role. However, most organizations are started to realize that regardless of the degree of interaction with the end customer, spoken English skills are critical even for internal communication.
Over the next couple of years, we will see a paradigm shift in the way corporate trainings are conducted – from the traditional trainer-led approach to a more app-based blended learning approach. Communication & soft skill trainings will be at the forefront of this shift, with organizations recognizing the importance of strong spoken English skills & the advantages of technology in upskilling their employees.
This article is written by Udit Hinduja, COO, Enguru