The Emancipation Of Alliances to Up-Skill India

Shrutidhar Paliwal, Vice President, AptechShrutidhar is a senior corporate branding & communications professional having over two decades of experience in developing communication strategies for large organizations. Before joining Aptech, he was working as the AVP - Branding & Communication at Reliance Money.

Two is certainly better than one. Often referred to as the most competent way to get a job in today's competitive environment for youngsters, dual certification is an excellent way to become an expert in multiple areas in a short amount of time. Usually, dual certification mandates learning of two or more subjects instead of just one. The benefits of dual certification are that, in a degree-obsessed country, it provides necessary on-job practical, contemporary education, which normally a private player is known to provide, and clubs it with the degree offered by the traditional player.

For institutions working towards skill development at the post-school, pre-degree level partnerships such as dual certifications and industry alliances to favour better placements have been seen as big winners. Typically, this option is something that the student chooses at the undergraduate level. The biggest benefit of pursuing dual certification is simply to make oneself more marketable upon graduation. By choosing to expand into other areas of education, students thus increase their marketability.

Today, we have over 15 million youth entering the job market who are not industry level skilled, leaving them unemployed or underemployed. Landing a job is about maximizing one's profitable value. With two certifications instead of one, one being industry certificated and the other being government level certified, students open themselves up to double the number of open positions.

As seen in the India Skills Report 2018, 8.11 percent employers suggest that very few job seekers possess the required skill, and thus contribute to employability shortfall. The experts believe that as touted elsewhere, there are no shortages of jobs; it is just that the students do not have the required skills to get into new-age jobs. The question is not lack of jobs, but employability. An urgent need is to have a framework
for restructuring institutions that are designed to promote clear, visible success outcomes.

This collaboration between the private and traditional players allows students to study for different courses, which have an almost similar academic calendar. The students also get to work with industry colleagues/selected academic skills development institutions to help improve the quality & quantity to create better/employable workforce, thereby giving back to the industry.

The understanding so far is:

• Skill-based education is not an option anymore. For example, what was a key requisite a decade back may be managed by machines.

• Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are the new buzzwords which have made routine jobs redundant and unless rapid up-skillin & re-skilling is sought, a large number may lose their jobs.

• A routine degree or even a postgraduate degree, unless backed by relevant education, updated course curriculum, and industry experience is a piece of paper.

• While India is changing, the world is changing even faster.

• It is a necessary attribute to every candidate to sustain in this ever-changing corporate world.

• The difference between `Education-driven employment' and `Employment-driven education' is critical to understand the skills gap.

• The gap between Employment and Employability is increasing.

The benefits of dual certification are that, in a degree-obsessed country it provides necessary on-job practical, contemporary education, which normally a private player is known to provide and clubs it with the degree offered by the traditional player

• The amalgamation of traditional education with skill-based education is the need of the hour. At times, the traditional education is important for students who wish to study further with academic excellence as a major motive. Here on the basis of only Certificates, Diplomas, especially in the sub-continent scheme of things may not allow entry to postgraduate courses.

• New private universities are helping students to become job-ready by offering dual certification in partnership with training companies, which are industry-led and powered by the most updated curriculum.

For us as an institution of higher education focused on improving student success outcomes, the level of placements and job readiness of students constitutes as an essential first step. Once the end-goal (of placement) is clear, we can develop a successful partnership with business/industry that is looking towards a similar goal.