India Inc sharpens focus on upskilling employees

MUMBAI : India Inc. prioritizes upskilling of workforce after hiring frenzy last year amid challenging global economic scenario. While upskilling and reskilling employees helps companies cut costs and retain talent, professionals looking for a new job can increase their market value both within and across industries, according to a Mint study.

“In a job market where demand for skills outweighs experience, candidates are now focusing on the benefits of upskilling and the various ways they can impact their professional careers for the better,” according to a study by Mint+ ‘Talent Insights’ for the July-September Quarter.

The study, which involved more than 750 HR leaders, says skills-based hiring is trending as companies now select candidates based on their skills rather than their credentials.

Skills that bring employees up to speed include data science, digital marketing and business analysis, followed by cloud computing. According to the study, 40% of participants said continuing education is critical to growth and that taking time off to gain more knowledge and add skills gives them an advantage over peers. Personal development was the second most important reason for choosing a new skill set for 33% of participants. On the other hand, companies said upskilling employees is more beneficial than hiring new staff to reduce costs amid high inflation and a slowing global economy. “Over the past year, the cost equation has gone up, and that’s evident when you look at the results of one of the companies. We need to take into account the high inflation that plagues most economies,” said Ravindra Kumar, President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Tata Motors Ltd, which launched a Future of Workplace strategy to overcome the “rapid pace of technological disruption and changing market dynamics “.


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As part of the initiative, Tata Motors encourages employees to acquire skills such as high voltage (electric vehicles), mechatronics (Industry 4.0), auto electronics and vehicle communications, which are in demand in the automotive industry. “While it’s easier to find new talent for the skills you want, it’s just as important to focus on reskilling existing employees. Skill obsolescence is a major challenge and is increasing at the same rate as technological advances,” Kumar said in an interview.

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Shine’s study showed that 44% of survey participants said the best time to upskill or reskill was after five years of work experience. However, 43% said after 6-10 years of experience you need to consider learning new skills to grow in your career.

As part of its upskilling strategy, consumer electronics company Panasonic has introduced three- and five-year individual development plans and career development plans for employees. “It is designed to shape the careers of high potentials and these plans include coaching, mentoring and training to provide a congenial platform for growth,” said Adarsh ​​Mishra, CHRO, Panasonic Life Solutions India.

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