In what could be considered as a great news to start the week with, a recent study announced by IBM has revealed that Indian executives working in the corporate sector believe that the quality and quantity of skills possessed by the Indian workforce are at least comparable to those of other countries across the globe. In fact, many of the executives surveyed believed them to be superior than the workforce found in the rest of the world. However, the study also found out that only 40 per cent of the people believe that new employees in local labor markets have the requisite job skills.

The study, 'Upskilling India' was carried out by the IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit. The main aim of the IBM study was to evaluate India's growing skills gap challenge and offer recommendations on how the gap can be bridged.

The IBM study drove insights from a survey of corporate-recruiters, emerging education leaders and academics in the Indian subcontinent. Further, the study also took into account recent surveys of corporate executives, startup entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in India.

Here's What the Study Found Out:

1) 73 per cent of India's top education leaders surveyed for the study believe that new technologies are disrupting higher education in the South Asian country.

2) 70 per cent of Indian venture capitalists surveyed believe that startups in the Indian subcontinent are not able to find employees with the right skills for the job.

3) 61 per cent of educators surveyed believe that the higher education system of the country is not able to meet the changing needs of the society.

4) The study found out that only 40 per cent of Indian industry executives surveyed believe that new employees recruited in the local labor markets have the requisite skills.

Commenting on the study, DP Singh, Vice President and Head - HR, IBM India/ South Asia said, "Today's rapidly evolving economic environment makes developing new skills an imperative across job profiles and sectors. At IBM, we believe in providing an environment that fosters new learning and development experiences aided by the power of technology."

According to data available, in the twenty years period from 2010 to 2030, the working population in India is expected to grow from a whopping 750 million to almost one billion. But, without the availability of adequate higher education and training, such humongous increase in the working population increases the risk of a growing class of under or unemployed people in the country.

Key Recommendations from the Study:

1) Work On Building Relationships With Ecosystem Partners: According to the IBM study, one of the ways to bridge the skills gap is to define and try reaching to a consensus with all the key partners around a common vision for the education ecosystem of the country. Further, it should carry clearly defined commitments from all the partners involved.

2) Open Up to Technologies That Can Improve Educational Access, Experiences, and Outcomes: According to the study, there is an urgent need to assess the current capabilities and requirements, and experiment with using new technologies and extend capabilities through ecosystem partners.

3) Develop More Practical, Experience-based Education: The IBM study recommends focusing an urgent attention to the country's higher education curricula. It indicates on doing this by identifying opportunities that can bring together experience-based and real-world learning experiences and getting acquainted with new teaching technologies and techniques. The study believes that higher education institutions in the country should work on building relations with industry partners so as to share learnings and refine strategies for the betterment of the country's younger generation.

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