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Creating Pathways to the Skills of the Future

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of millions across the world. While a skills mismatch existed across countries even before the pandemic, the issue has been exacerbated now with millions, on one hand, left unemployed and skills needs rapidly changing on the other. Youth from ethnic, socio-economic, and otherwise marginalized communities continue to be impacted by the digital divide and have limited or no access to develop market relevant skills and capabilities – skills that can not only set them up for success but can also create generational improvements.

On January 27th, 2021, industry leaders at TCS discussed the rapidly evolving skill needs within industries, the lack of access to new age skills for young people, a pandemic impacted employment landscape and the role of the private sector in bridging the skills gap.

Speakers included: Uma Rijhwani, Head, BFSI, Europe Central; Rajesh Kannan, Head, Nielsen; and KV Sarma, Head, Manufacturing, Europe. The session was moderated by Balaji Ganapathy, Global Head, Corporate Social Responsibility.

Key takeaways from the session include:

· Creating awareness about the opportunities emerging from the growth of new technology is an essential first step to addressing the many challenges in the global skills gap. Equally important is making the knowledge and resources available to marginalized and rural communities where there are fewer opportunities to understand this shift in skills demands.

· Supporting access and creating equitable opportunities to ensure all-round inclusion should be a critical area when focusing on bridging the skills gap. Cross sector partnerships between industry and policy makers should be created to accelerate the development infrastructure and support fast track learning for youth from rural and underserves areas who have lost nearly a year of progress as a result of the pandemic. Within this space, technology can serve as the great enabler.

· Adopting a lifelong learning mindset and self-investment in re/upskilling will be important for all, as the demand for skill sets is extremely responsive to the dynamic needs of the market. Up- and reskilling will need to be a continuous cycle and methods, channels, and platforms to upskill and reskill will also need to continuously evolve to keep up with technology evolutions and the learner’s needs.

To learn more about the skills of the future and to explore opportunities for collective action to strengthen reskilling and upskilling, please read our whitepaper with the World Economic Fourm - Closing the Skills Gap: Key Insights and Success Metrics

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