Skip to main content

Post-Pandemic Skilling Demands Reshaped And Redefined Skillsets

Digital and hybrid training models with an evolved technological landscape will account for disruptions in the workforce.

By Sunil Dahiya

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis of historic proportions and magnitude, resulting in a tectonic shift in our daily lives. Along with an unprecedented human toll, COVID-19 has also triggered a deep economic crisis, lending a severe blow to most sectors of the economy. It is now given that the pandemic is here to stay and will continue to influence businesses to deviate from all the normals of the past. In the skilling world, the COVID crisis has led to stalling of the good-old, traditional classroom and lab training for millions of the youth, thereby adversely affecting the skilling ecosystem in the country. While efforts through digital skilling have gained momentum in areas like soft skills and few domain skills, we have a long way to go in re-establishing the skilling initiatives and giving it momentum.

Leaner Business Models, Upskilling and Reskilling 

COVID-19 has provided the country with both challenges and opportunities to strengthen its position as a preferred destination for manufacturing.  Businesses are working towards realigning their strategies to meet the demands of this changing landscape. This, of course, means tremendous job opportunities and need for skilled manpower in the long run. Post pandemic the new normal will be leaner business models. This means the industry will focus on more upskilling and reskilling of the existing workforce on the basis of the new skills required to successfully execute these new models and minimize existing redundancies and will look at hiring fresh talent to be multi-skilled and possessing great domain and soft skills. Soft skills like digital learning capability, entrepreneurial mind-set and creative thinking will now be in more demand along with impactful communication and aptitude skills.

Even apprenticeship training has been sharply hit, affecting millions of youth looking for a break in the increasingly competitive job market. This has led to slow employee hiring. On the other hand, existing employees working remotely need to focus on developing their online communication skills and work on continuously improving their efficiency and productivity.

Need to Re-examine the Learning Pedagogy and Methodology models 

Skill gap continues to remain a critical challenge for businesses. In the post-pandemic world, reshaped and redefined skillsets will be necessary to bridge the skills gap in sync with the demands of future jobs. India’s manufacturing vision and aspirations to scale will face a challenge if this gap is not addressed effectively. Digital and hybrid training models need to be normalized.

On the other hand, hunger for learning the latest, and continuously preparing self for the new normal in terms of multi-skilling complemented by impactful soft skills is critical. Simulated technology-based training solutions must be encouraged across all domains on the learning side. Breaking the learning process into “learning the concepts digitally” and “hands-on experience on the shop-floor” is likely to become the new model in vocational space. Multi-skilling, upskilling and reskilling will form the basis of the new normal. On the industry side, early participation in the candidates’ learning cycle, and readiness to support the youth and academia with innovative models of training, hiring, retention and progression will create the multiplier effect.

Therefore, in post-pandemic times, there is a strong need to re-examine the learning pedagogy and methodology models. Giving the control in the hand of the learner and providing equal opportunities to grow in many possible domains will hold the key. The demand for a highly specific skillset is expected to further increase the need for on-the-job training and in-house knowledge centres.

Early-Skilling on Multi-Skillsets 

The government has also been proactively advocating the skilling initiatives in order to benefit from this window of opportunity and unlock the country’s true potential. The COVID-19 crisis provides several opportunities that young graduates and students can take advantage of, provided concerted efforts are made by authorities and educational institutions in identifying the gaps. Additionally, policymakers have recommended the inclusion of ‘vocational education’ into the curriculum across all states education boards and educational entities, in a bid to equip students with skills from the school-stage itself.  On the work front, employers are likely to hire candidates who are highly motivated and possess multiple skillsets, as the nature of work is destined to change completely.

Source: BW Business World