Lack of Skills Kills Your Career!

    Most of the youth who are qualified and getting themselves qualified want to join the

    bandwagon of IT industry. Everybody wants to join a software company, irrespective of

    their knowledge, skills, abilities and attitude.

    Lack of self-awareness, lack of knowledge with regard to job-market, finding out short cuts to success, marks oriented education, neglecting soft skills, focusing on Spoken English as the only success factor or ladder to success, looking to make fast buck – all these vices in our employable youth are diverting their attention from any kind of positive goals to achieve success. By focusing on money making, most of the youth are learning technical skills in demand in the IT industry, and not the skills they like or the way they want to mould their like to attract success. The one and only motivation is ‘money’ for today youth and the penultimate success parameter to measure individual success in the Society. This kind of perception has killed the ‘achievement motivation’ in youth and they have become deaf to any kind of counseling except ‘EAMCET’ counseling. This is the reason, why we are lacking good software engineers, good scientists, good academicians, good lecturers, good faculty who are used to dawn the role of coach, mentor in good olden days to guide the students with their ideas and ideals. We lack teachers with conviction and motivation as they too caught in the web of Society’s perception of success i.e. ‘who makes more money is always a success’! The youth have become ‘misguided missiles’ without having any goal to achieve success in their life. EAMCETS, CETS, CATS, ICATS, GATES, GREs have become the mantras for success, and not the knowledge or good foundation in the subjects of their interest.

    Then what is the solution for this menace, which is diverting our youth from the ideals and lofty goals, which spell success with a bonus of continuous motivation? The answer is ‘Skills’ not by heartless by hearting of all subjects only to get marks. Then, the question is why only focus on Skills?

    Today about 8.2 crore workforce in India is unemployable. Public Private Partnership

    (PPP) in education can be one of the key remedies in slicing down the rate of

    unemployability of the Indian youth, feel HR consultants and industry insiders. About 57% of India’s youth suffer from some degree of unemployability, while 53% of the employed youth lack specific skill sets and only 8% of youth are unemployed, according to a pan-India labour report released by Teamlease, the largest staffing company.

    Commenting on the findings of the report, Shiv Agarwal, CEO, ABC Consultants, said that PPP could bring in more industry-specific curriculum in the education sector.

    “A PPP based on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) model, wherein corporates are given complete control of an educational body to develop and then transfer it back to the government can play a huge role in building talent to suit the industry’s requirements.”

    With the booming job market currently standing at 455.7 million jobs, about 82.5 million youth in the age bracket of 15-30 years are unemployable.

    “By unemployable, we refer to individuals who have to be trained by the industry in basic skills which they should have acquired through college and university education,” Manish Sabharwal, Chairman, TeamLease Services opined.

    This demand-supply mismatch is accelerated by outdated curriculum coupled with a dearth of vocational and technical training, thereby contributing to an increase in the number people with almost no industry exposure.

    Vocational training, when provided, imparts training in specific fields through practical experience, while technical is defined in terms of acquiring a degree or diploma in agriculture, engineering, technology, and medicine.

    “Our institutions are misaligned with demand. We need a modular framework of courses covering a mix of knowledge, skill and work-attitude modules that fit people to high volume vocations and incentivise ‘edupreneurs,'” avers Visty Banaji, Executive Director, Godrej Industries.

    While problems of unemployment are not new, the rise in number of people who are unable to meet the industry’s needs due to the failure of institutions to impart career-oriented knowledge and skills-set is a pressing problem, as it can hamper India’s double digit growth.

    To address this shortfall of employable people, state governments are waking up to the occasion by taking help from consultancy services and firms.

    “Qualified people are the third most important factor after infrastructure and business environment to draw in investment, and hence states are looking for ways to build quality people.

    Several companies have introduced strategies entwined with the college syllabus to equip students with the latest demands of the industry and thereby customise education accordingly.

    Information Technology major Infosys has the campus Connect initiative with engineering institutions in Mysore, Bangalore, Pune and other cities, through which workshops and seminars are held for students to provide them with industry-specific exposure.

    Likewise, ICICI Bank is working in upgrading curriculum in areas like wealth management and credit relationship sales with institutes like MDI, NMIMS, ICFAI and so on.

    Employable youth has to take advantage of these initiatives by industry experts and focus on skills to make themselves employable by enhancing their Knowledge, Skills, abilities and attitude to build a great career of their choice.

    Ocean of Opportunities are available and employable youth is in dark with no skills and

    could not market themselves in the job-market. Which stream is in demand right now for MBAs? Naturally HR is in much demand and management graduates who are not opting for HR may lose many opportunities.

    There are only 3,500 new HR personnel to recruit 8 crore people in the next 5 years.

    Amazing! Due to this reason, industry will face a shortfall of 1 lakh HR professionals A

    huge deficit of talented human resource professionals is staring India Inc in the eye. With

    the economy going strong, according to industry estimates, at least 80 million new jobs

    are likely to be generated over the next five years.

    Assuming a very conservative figure of one HR person for every 500 employees, though typically the ideal figure should be 1:200, there would be a shortfall of more than 1-lakh HR professionals in the coming five years, considering that only 500-700 students pass out with specialised HR degrees each year.

    “There is a huge mismatch between the demand and supply sides. Few institutes have been able to offer specialised HR courses that are in tune with the industry’s needs,” says Shiv Agarwal, CEO, ABC consultants.

    With retention and attrition of employees being the chief headaches of company bosses, the question arises as to how we can address the problem of a shortage of those whose work it is to recruit and retain the human capital at companies.

    At present, there are approximately 1,132 management institutions in the country (of which 161 are in Maharashtra), that are approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), as of October 2006.

    (Figures for 2007 are still being compiled). Of these, hardly seven to eight institutions like Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Management Development Institute (MDI), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) offer specialised programmes in HR and Labour relations.

    Though the IIMs and other business schools like Indian School of Business (ISB), SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) have specialisation in HR, there are only a handful of takers, as most students opt for either Finance or Marketing.

    Also, many students who complete their Masters in HR join human resource consulting services rather than the industry.

    “HR was traditionally seen as a back office function though times have changed. Although we get ten times the number of applicants for our 60-65 seats in personnel management & industrial relations (PM&IR), the figure is still small when compared to those who go in for marketing or finance. This can be because many believe that HR is not as lucrative, both in terms of payment and job profile when weighed against the other two, which is not true,” states XLRI’s Prof. Madhukar Shukla.

    Turning towards the industry, there is acute attrition and poaching in the HR departments. When a good HR professional leaves, it becomes difficult to immediately hire another efficient person; hence companies normally take in someone from another department, say sales or operations.

    Even though a person from another department can bring in additional experience and exposure, which can work in the benefit of the business, there is still the vacuum that can be filled in a better manner by a traditional HR professional.

    “There are hardly any retention plans to check HR attritions. Some companies have gone HR focused and give HR the pilot’s seat, but the majority lack structured career paths and compensation equivalent with other business functions.

    It is an irony that HR people speak for others but there are only few spokespersons for HR,” says Ratna Sinha, HR Head, Emami Ltd.

    Nonetheless, certain colleges are taking measures to attend to this problem. XLRI has devised a certification course in human resource, which is completely handled by the institute faculty for companies like Accenture, Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra & Mahindra and targets those employees who show an inclination towards HR.

    Companies like Hindustan Unilever Ltd, PepsiCo India, Coca-Cola India have started outsourcing certain HR functions like payroll processing, recruitment processing, training, etc. to consulting firms, as they believe that outsourcing can provide access to new skills and fresh insights and divert the HR managers’ attention towards strategising.

    But both these measures, namely outsourcing and certification courses can answer only short-term problems. Industry needs to start taking this problem of HR deficit seriously and find a long lasting solution.

    Having understood the implications of these consequences, as a HR Professional, I advocate always HR stream and excellent soft skills to become a successful professional. HR professionals are always in demand wherever there are two people. Without HR professionals, Companies cannot manage themselves to meet business goals. HR will be always in demand till the end of Kalyug.

    Learn the skills, which will make you successful in your professional as well as personal life. Make your education skills oriented rather marks oriented and routine ‘CETS’ oriented. This will give you much-expected boost to your career in not just IT industry, but in any industry of your choice.

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