Dharmendra Pradhan Says Technology Not Squeezing the Job Space

Dharmendra Pradhan Says Technology Not Squeezing the Job Space

New Delhi: Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan called for a collective introspection on the changing nature of job profiles and urged those responsible for fashioning public policy to zero in on the nature of future jobs and where they would be available. Internet, he said, was changing the character of the workplace at a frenetic pace, and therefore, policy shapers need to astutely comprehend the jobs scenario.

Inaugurating the 11th Global Skills Summit, 2018, orgainsed by FICCI and the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Pradhan said the belief that technology and innovation were squeezing the job space was a myth. While some jobs were being squeezed, a multi-fold increase was being witnessed in many other sectors due to technological innovation.

India, he said, was blessed with intellectual manpower, and the time was ripe to channelize this asset into creation of gainful employment for the people endowed with the right type of skills.

On the occasion, the Minister released two knowledge reports titled, ‘Future of Jobs in India-2.0’ and ‘Employer-led Models of Job Creation- Version:2’. The summit also witnessed the launch of initiatives such the future skills courses by NSDC; a digital platform for blue-collar skilling ecosystem by Betterplace and rural e-commerce distribution system by Connect India.

Earlier, Chandra Mohan Patowary, Minister of Skill, Employment & Entrepreneurship, Government of Assam, underscored the dire need to impart industry-oriented skills to the wave of young people who join the workforce each year. He stressed the importance of producing knowledgeable trainers to impart training to the youth in the emerging skill requirements of the country. Formal education, he said, was of little value in jobs of the future; it is the skills imbibed by the new entrants to the workforce that will stay with them and hold them in good stead.

Patowary, highlighted the skill development initiatives taken by the Assam Government in recent times, including collaboration with South East Asian countries such as Singapore, Korea and Taiwan for which it is entering into MoUs. Assam’s ‘Act East’ policy was aimed at strengthening e-way, water-way and air-ways connectivity with the neighbouring countries as the state strives to become one of the most developed states in the country. In this context, he said that the new airport terminal at Guwahati would be connected to six capital cities in South East Asia.

He said that Japanese language training has been started in Assam to help the youth find employment with Japanese industry. By 31 March 2019 Skill Development Mission of Assam will be giving certificates to 1 lakh trainees to facilitate placements with Japanese companies.

Subhash Ghai, Founder and Chairman, Whistling Woods, said the first priority for the country was to train the trainers so that the skilled workforce could apply the knowledge acquired productively. “We need to transit for being believers to seekers of knowledge”, even as he emphasised the importance of intelligence over knowledge.

T. V. Mohan Das Pai, Chairman, FICCI Skill Development Committee & Chairman Manipal Global Education, said that the biggest change will be wrought by the change in the demographic profile of the country and the advances in technology. India, he said, will witness 24 million people reach the age of 21 by 2025 and the challenge will be to absorb them in productively in the workforce.

Bijay Sahoo, Co-Chair, FICCI SDC & President, HR, Reliance Industries, said that jobs are being created in emerging technologies. “Healthcare and hospitality are creating the maximum number of jobs in the world,” he added.