Why Now Is The Time When We Need Mentors More Than Trainers

India opened its borders for foreign market in the 1990s and this liberalisation brought jobs, opportunities and money. The growing population and the opportunity for millions of youngsters to enter new industries has driven the government's focus for skill training. Despite these efforts, the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMEI) claims to have 20 million people unemployed in the month of May.

With the increasing use of automation, the job market is changing faster than ever before. How ever, are the graduates able to cope up with this increasing market demand?

According to the CEO and MD of Tech Mahindra, 94 percent of the graduates are unemployable. With the widening skill gap, there are also times when the companies have to lay off even those who have been hired. This is the result of a large number of institutes and universities providing training through a defined curriculum which is never updated to meet the industry needs. The students need to be taught what the market requires and not what is defined by the institutes. During an interview with London Real, Vishen Lakhiyani of Mind Valley mentioned, "Between 2020 and 2025, in five years, the world is going to change as much as the 19th and 20th century put together." So, if the students are being trained in what was the prime of the market 5 years ago, how do you expect them to compete in today's market where the product does not even exist?

This gap between the institutes and the industries can be bridged only with the presence of mentors. The mentors are the trusted advisors who `have been there' and ‘done that'. They offer suggestions and knowledge to the mentees through constant support and encouragement. The journey of two people with the goal of professional and personal development is called Mentoring.

Since the mentors are the industry professionals, they stay updated with the changing market and have an understanding of where the market is heading to. Through their guidance, the graduates are kept on their toes with varying industry demands, preparing them for the future opportunities.

Today, the graduates need mentors more than ever before. The marketplaces are going through immense changes. Introduction of Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain will revolutionize the way businesses would be conducted. Just six months ago, the concept of absolute E-Learning would have been laughed off in the Indian education sector. Based on a research conducted by Pearson, 62 percent of adult learners prefer the concept of passive online learning combined with active in person learning.

As quoted by Stephan Hawking, ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change'. However, even to avail this concept of intelligence, it is necessary to keep a track of the changes surfacing in the industry. The industry mentors rooted deep in the marketplace are the personals who have the understanding and the ability to anticipate the trends through which the developments shall take place in the coming years.

Post Pandemic scenarios will dictate the need of mentors. With greater focus on reduced cost of products and lower lead times, the companies will refrain from training graduates and prefer to hire ones with bare minimum industrial knowledge. With the support of mentors the graduates would be able to develop the industry oriented skills prior to their placement in order to guarantee sustenance in their career. At Vinion Consultancy we strongly believe that ‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt' and we are constantly developing strategies for helping graduates and professionals acquire skill sets needed for successful career by offering a frameworkcreated by industry professionals, integrating skill focused activities into regular curricular offerings.