Upskilling can Boost India’s GDP Significantly

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There are only two ways in which a manager can impact an employee’s output: motivation and training. If you are not training then you are neglecting half the job.

Andy Grove

The quote rightly signifies the importance of enhancing an employee’s abilities, skills, and expertise to carry out the assigned work. We are currently experiencing the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where the boundaries between the physical, biological, and digital worlds are blurring. It is bringing about a fundamental change in the way people work, relate to each other, and perceive things. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is quite more than just technology-driven change. It is more about creating an inclusive, human-centered future by allowing world leaders, policymakers, and individuals to harness the potential of converging technologies.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents the advancements in emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), 3D printing, virtual reality, robotics, quantum computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), and so on. All these advances are disrupting almost every industrial sector, and nowhere is this trend more evident than in customer expectations. Businesses are using technology to offer greater personalization and connected experiences whenever they are interacting with digital channels. As such, customers expect better service from all brands and aren’t afraid to switch to their competitors if they are not satisfied.

The upheaval of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is now impacting the workplace as well. The growing adoption of automation and AI has already led to the disappearance of a number of jobs. On the other hand, a whole new category of jobs is emerging that require specialized digital skills. The reshaping of work’s future is inevitable, and businesses must be prepared for the new world lying ahead. This particularly means an increased focus on upskilling employees for new types of jobs, continual learning, and commitment to diversity.

Online training providers have come up to meet the upskilling needs of both corporates and individuals. The key players in the edtech industry are not only offering online courses on in-demand digital skills but also helping professionals prepare for industry-recognized certifications. These include PRINCE2 certification, Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), Six Sigma Green Belt, AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate, Certified Scrum Master, and other essential credentials.

The importance of upskilling has also been highlighted by the World Economic Forum. According to its recent Upskilling for Shared Prosperity report, greater private-public collaboration on large-scale upskilling and reskilling initiatives can boost the global GDP by a whopping $6.5 trillion and facilitate the creation of 5.3 million net new jobs by the year 2030. Moreover, half of the employees around the world will need reskilling by 2025.

When it comes to India, the upskilling initiatives could contribute to the country’s GDP by $570 billion. In terms of percentage, India could see a 6.8% gain in GDP, which is higher than other nations, as it is an economy where the skills gaps are larger. These gains are likely to be more profound in the business services, manufacturing sectors, and consumer services. Upskilling can significantly benefit those sectors also that have suffered from low-wage growth and output for decades, including health and social care. 

The upskilling programs can ensure that professionals have the skills and experience required for the jobs that the Fourth Industrial Revolution will create. One may find upskilling opportunities in several areas like digital marketing, cloud computing, cybersecurity, project management, big data analytics, blockchain, data science, and software development. It is important to note that such upskilling programs wouldn’t be required just once; employees would need to do so many times throughout their careers.

Time is ripe for businesses and governments to share responsibility and create non-traditional pathways for upskilling workers. There is an enormous opportunity to reconfigure the world of work and embark on an upskilling revolution that will allow people worldwide to participate entirely in the future of work. If we can emphasize upskilling programs in the long run, there is no reason why we wouldn’t achieve higher levels of productivity and contribute to India’s GDP growth.