The government and the tech industry have partnered to launch Future Skills Prime, an initiative to accelerate India’s journey towards becoming the digital talent nation of the world.
This is aimed at skilling India’s talent in the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning and ensure continuous reskilling of the country’s vast technology workforce.
The platform will focus on bridging the huge talent gap at the entry level and train existing workforce in the technologies of the future.
Launching the platform on Friday, Minister of State for Electronics and IT, and Skills and Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, said the government has committed about Rs 450 crore to the skilling initiative.
IT Industry body Nasscom, along with member companies, have also contributed to the initiative.
Chandrasekhar called upon the private sector to engage deeply with the effort as financial and employment stakeholders.
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“It should be seen not just as an entry-level skilling platform but as a continuous dynamic ladder of skilling, upskilling and rescaling. The outcome and measure of upskilling is really about career progression,” he said.
Technology adoption around the world and digitalization has been unprecedented and India has to seize the moment as an inflection point to get ahead of the world, he added.
The emergence of disruptive technologies such as AI, Big Data, Internet of Things, and blockchain have been creating millions of new jobs with a rapid growth in demand. The portal has conceptualized a framework for upskilling, and it can take a diagnostic test and make informed decisions about further skilling requirements based on a person’s career aspirations.
Since technological frameworks are evolving, the programme aims to develop an integrated high-quality system of training that constantly responds to these needs.
The course content has been curated by industry experts and is coupled with machine-based learning tools which enable goal-oriented learning, training and skilling path for candidates.
“Digital technologies present massive opportunities both for India’s socio-economic growth, for local industry, and also for export-led revenues,” said Rekha Menon, chairperson of Nasscom.
According to an Accenture study, the use of AI could add $1 trillion to the Indian economy by 2035. “And to realize all that potential, we need digital talent,” Menon, who is also chairperson and senior managing director at Accenture in India, said.
The skilling platform will also look to onboard specific skill sets, job roles from other verticals such as fintech, healthcare, etc and cater to the new breed of hybrid professionals.
During the conceptualization phase, several rounds of discussions were held with stakeholders, including online content providers and aggregators such as Microsoft, TCS, Coursera, Adobe etc, as well as job placement agencies.
Rishad Premji, executive chairman of Wipro, said that the last 18 months have only accelerated the pace of moving to a world that is truly digitally dependent and connected. India had a unique opportunity to enable this by being the world’s answer for digital talent, he said.
“There’s an acute shortage the world over across companies across industries for talent, and by some estimates, the shortage is seven to 10x. The global digital talent acquisition market is expected to grow from 22 billion in 2020 to 33 billion by 2025. And the digital talent in India is expected to grow 3.5 to 3.7 million by 2024,” he said.
“For a several-fold increase from the current numbers, the demand is enormous, and the shortage is acute. The good news is that companies and the government are working to address this demand,” Premji added