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Indian Enterprises Need Massive Govt Support for Reskilling: Microsoft-IDC Study

IT sector

Pandemic or no pandemic – reskilling has become the need of the hour. Of course the sudden turmoil of the established world order makes reskilling more essential than ever. Today, everyone has to develop new skills as learning is the mantra for survival. In such a scenario, the IT sector will be in danger unless the government supports a massive reskilling program.

A study conducted by Microsoft and IDC, titled, Culture of Innovation: Foundation for business resilience and economic recovery in Asia Pacific, stresses on the importance of reskilling reveals that nearly three out of 10 organizations support reskilling in the growing enterprises. The study also reveals that businesses in India can strengthen innovation and business resilience with the government’s support.

The report further claims that 29% of Indian organisations invest in intensifying their broad capabilities and skilling initiatives. On the other hand, 25% of businesses in India expect government support in advancing digital and technology skills of the workforce.

Furthermore, 55% acknowledged that businesses should formalize innovation-based rewards among the workers surveyed for the report. Organisations with a forward-thinking and robust approach empower their employees to innovate faster and better, whereas 15% of Indian workers and 13% of business development managers believe leaders need to prioritize a culture that embraces innovation.

In the meantime, 51% of workers and 48% of leaders claim that in three years workforce models should include reskilling and up-skilling opportunities to adapt with agility to changing requirements.

The report also highlighted that organizations had recognized the necessity of diversity to drive innovation. Reportedly, 30% of the businesses have also increased focus on hiring a diverse cross-industry, multicultural, and multi-generational workforce.

In the next 12 months, organizations focus on Technology (45%) and People (19%) to maintain resilience and recover faster.

Nearly 439 business decision-makers and 438 workers in India participated in the study conducted by Microsoft and IDC in six months (before and since COVID-19). It’s also worth pointing out that the India study was part of a broader survey among 3,312 business decision-makers and 3,495 workers across 15 markets in the Asia Pacific region.

The report further highlights that 93% of workers believe a culture of innovation is most important in attracting and retaining workforce alignment. On the other hand, 72% of businesses claimed that their primary approach is to reskill and have staff and try to minimize layoffs.

A work culture should be encouraged to incorporate rewards and performance measures to building trust and useful connections. It can be achieved through performance-based bonuses and promoting disruptive ideas.

“It is encouraging to see business leaders recognize the importance of skilling & reskilling to build enterprise-wide capabilities and incentivizing breakthrough ideas to drive long-term innovation. At Microsoft, we believe that enhancing people’s capabilities is critical to building tech intensity – an essential factor in enabling the culture of innovation,” said Rajiv Sodhi, COO, Microsoft India to the publication.

Experts believe  that with 2021 will witness organizations placing greater emphasis on transparency, agility, culture and purpose-driven leadership. As per recent industry reports, 54% of the world’s workforce will need reskilling and upskilling by 2022. Validating these findings, a LinkedIn survey revealed that 42% of the core skills required for jobs would change.

Despite the enthusiasm, in India, the skills gap in technology sector is still high. The studies note, without appropriate intervention, this mismatch between market requirements, skills and opportunities is expected to grow more acute in the future. Hence, there is a need to invest heavily in the upskilling and reskilling to manage future disruptions better and avoiding the severe impact felt during the present pandemic.

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