Business News/ Companies / News/  India Inc sharpens focus on upskilling employees

MUMBAI : India Inc. is prioritizing workforce upskilling following a hiring frenzy over the last one year, in view of the challenging global economic scenario. While upskilling and reskilling employees help companies cut costs besides retaining talent, professionals looking out for a new job can increase their market value both within and across industries, according to a Mint study.

“In a job market where there is increasing demand for skills over experience, candidates are now focusing on the perks of upskilling and the different ways it can impact their professional career for the better," said a study by Mint+, ‘Talent Insights’, for the July-September quarter.

The study, involving 750-plus HR executives, said skill-based hiring is trending, as companies are now churning out candidates based on their competencies instead of looking at his or her credentials.

Skillsets employees are lapping up to update themselves include data science, digital marketing and business analysis, followed by cloud computing. According to the study, 40% participants said upskilling is crucial for growth, and taking time out to gain more knowledge and add skills, gives them an advantage over peers. For 33% participants, personal development was the second biggest reason to opt for a new set of skills. On the other hand, companies said upskilling employees is more beneficial than hiring new ones to reduce costs amid high inflation and a slowdown in global economies. “Over the last year, the cost equation has increased and that is evident if you look at the results of any of the companies. We have to take into account high inflation, which is running in most economies," said Ravindra Kumar, president and chief human resources officer, Tata Motors Ltd, which rolled out a Future of Workplace strategy to ride over the “rapid technology disruptions and changing market dynamics".

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As part of the initiative, Tata Motors is urging employees to pick up skills, like high voltage (electric vehicle), mechatronics (Industry 4.0), auto electronics, and vehicle communication which are in demand in the auto sector. “While it’s easier to have incoming talent for desired skillsets, it is equally important to focus on reskilling existing employees. Skill obsolescence is a big challenge and is increasing at the same speed as technology advancement," Kumar said in an interview.

Shine’s study showed that 44% survey participants said the best time to upskill or reskill is after five years of work experience. However, 43% said one must consider learning new skills after 6-10 years of experience to grow in their career.

As a part of its upskilling strategy, consumer electronics company Panasonic has rolled out three- and five-year Individual Development Plan and Career Development Plan for employees. “It is designed to shape the career of high potentials, and these plans involve coaching, mentoring, and training interventions to provide a congenial platform for growth," Adarsh Mishra, CHRO, Panasonic Life Solutions India, said.

Devina Sengupta
Devina Sengupta reports on the shifts in India Inc’s workplaces, HR policies and writes about the developments at India’s biggest conglomerates. Her stories over the last decade have been picked up and followed by Indian and international news outlets. She joined Mint in 2022 and previously worked with The Economic Times and DNA-Money.
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Updated: 09 Oct 2022, 11:16 PM IST
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