“This is a slightly different answer to what I would have given four months ago. Our first priority is protecting our existing apprentices and businesses’ desire to upskill workers in the face of major cost pressures brought on by Covid-19.
“We need companies to maintain their commitment to the engineers of the future so that they have the talent and capacity they will require as the economy hopefully kicks back into life again. Employers, who are paying into the Apprenticeship Levy, should be looking at creative ways in which they could spend the money they’ve put in, including personal development courses and putting more mature workers through an apprentice where they can develop new skills, knowledge, and behaviors.
“Longer-term, we need to continue the employer-led approach to training. What we offer shouldn’t be prescriptive or what the government feels it should be; instead, it should be developed and evolved from constant consultation with companies and finding out exactly what they need.”
Bekki Phillips is managing director of In-Comm Training
The above-quoted words may be of Bekki Phillips and applicable to the international markets, but we are of the opinion that the same is true for Indian conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has leveled the playing field of the global business. This means that we in India are not the only ones facing the killing crisis as far as engineering is concerned. As a skills development agency, we are of the opinion that as far as skills development for the engineering sector is concerned we need to completely rethink the way we design the training programs.
The Future is Multi-Talented
The future of engineering skills development will be all about producing techies that are multi-talented. Now the job roles will be changed and more would be required from everyone working in the engineering sector. As the economies are now in recovery mode, money on the offer will be less and multiskills will be required. The shift of talent hiring will move towards the apprenticeship model, the one which we have been working on for a long time now. Companies now have to get in an interactive and collaborative mode for getting the skills they need to be globally competitive. That’s the only way to solve this issue.
Upskilling can no longer be ignored. Apart from getting fresh apprentices on the block, the companies now need to upskill the existing workforce so as to keep the experience curve steady. This is a hard phase for everyone in the business community but it can be overcome with smart skills development programs. Now is the time to reap the full benefits of programs like Neem Scheme to the fullest. Every cloud has a silver lining and the time is right for Indian companies to raise the bar. This is the time that can be utilized to become a global business leader. Change the business environment will bring about new challenges and opportunities. Skilling properly will be the only factor that would determine how well we are able to cope up with the situation.