BetterPlace’s much-anticipated project SkillConnect was launched in Delhi on August 30, 2018 with leaders from the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, NSDC, various industries and the skilling ecosystem in attendance. The launch was preceded by a closed-door roundtable which saw chief guest and Union Minister of State for Skill development and Entrepreneurship Shri Anantkumar Hedge and industry leaders giving their valuable insights on the demand and supply side dynamics of the blue-collar industry, their challenges, and the possible solutions.
Switch from supply-led training to demand-led training
The discussion focussed on the key point around how a strategic shift from supply-led training to demand-led training could potentially help alleviate some of the key gaps in today’s blue-collar ecosystem. The switch could potentially also help the skilling ecosystem move closer to achieving 100% placement target and also help them link the candidate with the right skills to the right job. Demand-driven training not only helps fulfil job roles with skilled manpower, but also helps make the training overall much more relevant to adapt to the fast-changing needs of the industry.
Address skill gaps for better efficiency and results
The roundtable saw participation from over 30 leaders across wide industries such as Integrated Facility Management, Logistics, On-Demand services, Private Security, Ecommerce and other industries that collectively employ over 20 lacs individuals across their firms.
The top employers from the Integrated Facility Management discussed the skill gap and certification that the migratory workforce coming into the IFM space lacks in several core areas. They also put forth challenges around lack of awareness and poor skillset adequacy in the IFM space.
Attrition due to mismatch between the job requirement and job expectation
Employers from private security space said the lack of awareness of what a job role entails in various urban settings leads to large drop-offs from offer letter stage to actual employment. Even among those who take up a job, a huge number of them end up leaving because of the mismatch between their expectations and on-ground requirements of the job role.
The dignity of labour an issue in the blue-collar segment
The logistics industry, which employs a huge chunk of delivery executives, also experiences its own set of challenges. The employers from this segment talked about the lack of dignity of labour that their workforce experiences. This led to another key point around the need for soft skills training. The soft skills not only help them do their jobs efficiently, but also gain the social inclusion in an effective manner.
The industry experts also discussed that the manpower requirement is likely to surge massively in the coming years and how they are today forced to source them from a common pool on the ground.
The employment pattern to suit the migratory workforce
It is well-known that the majority of the blue-collar job roles are filled by migratory workforce. One of the key gaps which SkillConnect looks to fulfill is the mismatch between the location of demand creation and availability of supply of trained manpower. This also brought up the perspective that job creation closer to one’s home is a better recipe for sustenance in that job and better chances of upward migration.
One of the perspectives brought by industry leaders from Facility Management Industry, which employ blue-collar workforce across roles like housekeeping, guards, drivers, and electricians was the feasibility of low-cost housing options in urban centers. The industry talked about the role they could play in terms of running these centers once the initial setup was provided by the Government.
Demand aggregation effectively reduces employers’ challenges
The industry thought leaders from on-demand services sector also reiterated that a platform like SkillConnect can help them with demand aggregation for over next 12 months and help them with various challenges of employment. This could help reduce the time lag between getting the supply they need and making them operationally active on the ground.
How SkillConnect helps fill both skill and employment gaps practically
The discussion clearly indicated towards the need of the hour to address the skill and employment gaps to help both sides achieve their ultimate goal of customer satisfaction. This is where a digital platform like SkillConnect looks at simply bridging those gaps in real time.
It enables the skilling ecosystem to build the skill pool based on future-demand projections to make the training more relevant and helps connect right candidate to the right employer looking to hire for those roles. On one hand, the training partners know the industry demands and verified job opportunities in advance, the employers will have an immediate access to a trained, certified and verified workforce ready to enter the employment. The job skills and soft skills training imparted through a highly-engaging chat bot also ensures to solve issues like language barriers, geographical distance, clarity about job role and dignity of labour.
The discussions concluded on an extremely positive note as the Ministry and relevant stakeholders agreed to come together and dig deeper into industry-specific issues.