Covid-19: In India, around 5 million salaried employees and industrial workers lost jobs | Representational image
The harrowing time that the pandemic has adversely affected the economies around the world; nearly half of the world’s 3.3 billion global workforces are at risk of losing jobs according to warnings by the International Labour Organization (ILO), The World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
According to the private think tank Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), In India, around 5 million salaried employees and industrial workers lost jobs. The unprecedented time requires serious deliberations on saving jobs or realigning skills to ensure smooth functioning of the wheel of the economy.
Understanding the nature of jobs
The first step to find a solution is to understand the nature of jobs being performed by the people. Most of the businesses or jobs would not survive the assault of the pandemic, and the situation becomes graver as there is a dearth of tech skills that could have helped them stay afloat. In times when we are talking about Industry 4.0, the required technical skills are missing, and it is crucial to plug the gaps.
To understand the job requirement, we have to look at the trends of consumption and investment, as most of the economies depend on these two aspects.
According to a few estimates, India saw a decline of 27 percent in consumption and around 49 percent in investment. When we look at the consumption trend, we will notice that people are now moving towards technological platforms.
Their association with technology has taken a new dimension, and the job aspirants have to move accordingly to get into sectors or jobs that are in sync with the new requirement.
Focus on Digital India
The Government of India has been focusing on Digital India, an initiative that can absorb the unemployment shock. Educational institutes have to incorporate courses that can give short-term upskilling courses. Businesses also have to pitch in with courses or modules that can revitalize the downward graph.
Pre-Covid, companies were slow in digital adoption and deliberated immensely on the cost implications, etc.
However, post-Covid, the scenario has changed, and companies have to move at a quicker pace to adopt the New Age tools and ensure that the right workforce is available in the market. In fact, during the lockdown, people registered for technology-related courses, which was an indication that they realize the importance of technological interventions in every job sector.
The number of startups has increased
India has an extensive base of startups and can be the game-changer in the job market. The Government’s ‘Startup India’ initiative can have a soothing effect on the market. The optimism stems from the fact that the number of startups has increased to 39,114 on November 3, 2020, from around 24,927 in November of the preceding year, according to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade.
It is expected that there would be approximately 20 lakh direct and indirect jobs in startups, which are likely to go up to 50,000. The Government is also giving a boost to technology startups, which calls for the availability of a highly-skilled populace that is prepared to accept the challenge.
In this acute crisis, the role of companies that can help organizations by providing enterprise learning and performance support solutions has gained pertinence.
HR professionals have to assist companies with the implementation of new processes and technology through training solutions. The need is to read the writing on the wall, which clearly says ‘Technology is the future’.
A 2019 McKinsey report noted that 75 million to 375 million workers (3 to 14 percent of the global workforce) would need to switch occupational categories by 2030; these changes will be due to the increase in automation that will destroy old jobs and create new ones.
In conclusion, it is suggested that unemployed people should take this as an opportunity to learn valuable tech-based skills. They must analyze future market trends and understand the opportunity of a better-paid skills-intensive, tech career.