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Reinvention, Regeneration, Reiteration= Survival of the Fittest!

Reinvention+ Regeneration+ Reiteration = Survival of the Fittest is a statement that is absolutely relevant in the present-day digital age. The old belief system of aspiring professionals was to complete their higher studies with a postgraduate degree or PhD’s or beyond in their respective fields. Once they attained their degree’s they were self-assured of a permanent job and a seamless life.In fact it was only obvious for doctors, engineers and specialists in these fields to reskill themselves constantly as new studies were discovered and published forming the basis of their practice.  Alas the educational system seldom targeted vocational training or on the job training to imbibe real life working skills. Over time education curriculums reinvented themselves to incorporate placement years or requirement of internshipsto complete their degree programs.

Just have a good thought over this anecdote:

“Today even graduates from the class of 2019 or 2020 may seem to have become obsolete considering the revamped education curriculums incorporating STEM education and technology focused subjects”

After all being knowledgeable in these subjects is going to form a strong backbone for the upcoming job markets. This doesn’t mean our degrees will become insignificant but etching the habit of absorbing knowledge will arm us the power to revive ourselves. Thus, being knowledgeable (via reskilling and upskilling) infuture focused subjects will certainly help individuals to swim in the deep waters of the new emerging job market.

HR was generally considered the most mundane operations of businesses. Generally firms paid less attention to training programs in order to negate expenses.In fact firms resorted to forms of employment such asoutsourcing or offshoring to taper off expenses.Furthermore, with the advent of technology related businesses or the new age business models such as Uber, Deliveroo and more, the gig economy emerged. Firms adopted the concept of part time workers, freelancers, zero-hour contracts and temporary employees and engraved this idea as a means of further diminishing their costs. (While there has been a lot of debate about these forms of employment from the ethical perspective this is not the topic of discussion in their article). Moreover, they failed to foresee megatrends or transformations that were hinting at colossal changes in the job market, precisely on the necessity of reskilling and upskilling of their workforce.

Considering from the outlook of the management they are baffled on how to espouse reskilling programs. They face the dilemma of differentiating between their core workforce v/s secondary and tertiary workforce as they were comfortable with the concept of outsourcing or employing part time employees. They are pressured to distinguish business activities that are the basis of their core essence, and probably are reliant on part time workers, freelancers and so forth. For instance an IT focused organization may have outsourced their core activities abroad to save costs. So, does this mean they need to inshore these activities back in the organization and consequently organize reskilling and upskilling training sessions? Won’t they also be considered core employees of the organization, having the authority to be included in the payroll? This is just a matter to dwell on, there is no black or white.

As firms have become conscious of this trend post the Coivd19 pandemic hit, remote working has become a part and parcel of life for employees. Furthermore, the introduction of AI and automation has had a paradoxical impact in the employment market as its leads to redundancies but also creates a plethora of job opportunities.

Businesses all around the world are enforced to permeate the digitization culture throughout their organization in order to thrive in the vulnerable times. This requires instant reskilling of primary/ core employees/teams so the business can operate in a seamless manner. Whilst getting acquainted with the latest modes of virtual commination is an obvious option, firms are required to train, skill, reskill and upskill their labourforce in order to survive in the coming decades- a reiterative process. In fact the concept of outskilling also gained connotation implying on the notion of skilling employees who were being made redundant in order for them to explore and find new jobs.There are various platforms such as Accredibleor Credly offeringservices for the offboarding processes for employees so they can upskill themselves for their prospective jobs

Firstly, identifying your core members is quintessential to progressing with reskilling programs followed up by carrying out a skill gap analysis which will highlight the discrepancies between job description and competencies required today (that also align with the organizations business goals and strategies). Another Catch-22situation springs up, should we hire skilled employees or reskill existing employees? A matter of delusion for managements, they believe that by hiring skilled employees external to the organization would save costs of training the in- house staff. This is not true as it may take as much as the same time and costs for the new recruit to onboard and get comfortable with the culture of the new organization v/s reskilling and upskilling existing staff. Laying off staff brings with it redundancy costs, severance costs and administrative costs. Hence it may seem economical for the organization to upskill their existing staff and create their own talent pipeline.

New skilling targets areas such as coding eg: python, data analysis, SEO, big data analysis, data science upskilling, skilling for software engineers, cloud computing, social media marketing analytics and so forth. According to studies skilling programs aid in saving costs for the organization as productivity skyrockets. After all technology makes lifeeasier, performing tasks at an indispensable rate. It increases employee satisfaction, motivation and moral, retention rates and reduces staff turnover. It is critical to create a digital first culture and lifelong learning culture in the organization propelling employees to imbibe skilling activities and inculcate them for efficient decision making for the organization and their personal lives.

“Technology waits for nobody and hence it’s not only the management’s responsibility but also the employee’s obligation to reskill themselves with the emerging job roles of the future”. This is possible via the self-learningedtech and reskilling platforms such as Cousera, Instructure, Pearson and so forth. Firms have united with various platforms to usher reskilling programs for their employees. For instance Guilds education platform directs individuals to earn degrees or credentials debt free (a part of  Walmart’s Live BetterUinitiative for all its employees). A fantastic initiative! Mursion’simmersive learning technology is a platform used by T-mobile to enhance employee’s interpersonal skills. Numerous startups around the world are focusing on providing these services to train youth to join the workforce.

Microsoft enables the accessibility to reskilling and upskilling programs for the unemployed and underemployed. India’s Skill India Mission program initiated by the government intends to skill its booming youth population. In Rwanda, the government had collaborated with Coursera making endless courses available to employed and unemployed Rwandans. Amazon’ Tech Academy focuses on reskilling of their internal staff open to all members of the organization across the company hierarchy. Thus furnishing an opportunity for individuals to grow in their careers and move up in the hierarchy of life or even Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

This process will require the involvement of governments, corporates, NGO’s and other stakeholders to bring (remote) reskilling and upskilling programs into mainstream. Governments can foster reskilling programs for the unemployed, underemployed and the underprivileged so they too can carve a position for themselves in society. Corporates can continue to invest in their existing employees creating new job opportunities within the organization creating a steady and sturdy talent pool. Plus, nurturing individuals to develop and grow at the professional and personal front. Not to miss the ones who are on the verge of redundancy as outskilling is too gaining momentum in in the business world. Governments+ NGOs+ Corporates in partnership can orchestrate reskilling and upskilling programs for the underprivileged youth as they will play an integral role for the development of their respective countries and economic development of the world.

“Today is the age of attaining higher education plus making oneself competent in the job market via attending skilling programs or courses in their respective fields. CREDENTIAL’s is Key”. Openness to lifelong learning is critical!

So…..Reinvention, Regeneration, Reiteration= Survival of the Fittest!

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article are views of the author in general and the author does not hold any legal responsibility or liability for the same.)


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