The advent of technology has transformed the employment market. Machines have replaced manual jobs and are bound to take over 69% of office jobs by 2024. To stay afloat in the age of AI and be part of the competitive market, enterprises need a workforce that is not only technically skilled but has digital and soft skills.
Sectors like retail, BFSI, aerospace, beauty and wellness, IT, and healthcare, among many others are turning towards vocational training to extract value from today’s technology-driven market and create human intelligence that is on par with AI.
1. Retail Sector
India is considered to be the 5th largest global retail destination, with the industry contributing close to 10% to the country’s GDP. This sector accounts for 8% of employment in India. Apprentices can aid and support retailers in business operations to a very large extent as several as the crucial, backend functions require practice, discipline and an eye for detail. Apprenticeships prepare individuals for roles in assembly line management, inventory and shrinkage management, labeling, packaging, supply chain management and more. Employees with apprenticeships in these functions are better capable of serving the retail space.
2. BFSI Sector
The financial services sector is a fast-moving industry and yet suffers from the highest attrition levels and talent gap. Apprenticeships are fast emerging as long term solutions for BFSI enterprises like NBFCs, microfinance companies, insurance companies, and banks to create a strong talent pool for both feet on the street and for back end processing roles. Not just that, with on-the-job training and learn while you earn programs that begins early on, students not only perform better, they also stay on longer.
3. Beauty and Wellness Sector
The shift towards a healthier lifestyle has seen a surge in the beauty and wellness sector. This is one of the few sectors that are heavily dependent on the human workforce. While new-age technology is being introduced to this sector, artificial intelligence is used more as a tool to upscale the skills of the employees. Those in the beauty and wellness sector not only require technical skills to please their clients, but they also need to connect with them emotionally. People often need a context with their masseuse or beautician to interact and communicate their problems, a skill that cannot be achieved by machines.
4. IT Sector
Many believe that automation will not have an adverse effect on the IT sector. While IT companies are adopting new technology, technology is used to deal with mundane and repetitive jobs. The use of AI has created more engagement for people, especially in mid to senior-level jobs. IT sector requires an intelligent workforce that can make critical decisions and work with a massive amount of data and intelligence to manage and support the AI systems. Employees with managerial level skills are in demand to make strategies, design ideas, communicate and create a network to stay afloat in the market.
5. Healthcare Sector
AI and robotics are transforming healthcare for the better. They make it easier and quicker to diagnose the illness and give the required treatment to the patient. However, technology cannot go beyond providing accurate data. They require human management and support to operate. Physicians are still required to communicate the treatment measures with the patient and family. They give emotional support and empathy that cannot be provided by the machines. Human intelligence is required to guide, provide emotional support and empathy and provide the right treatment and therapy for the patient’s recovery.
6. Aerospace Sector
Aerospace is one of the fastest-growing sectors in India. While the sector is heavily dependent on robotics and machinery, it requires human skills and intelligence to function smoothly. Skills such as planning and development, training, critical thinking, and analysis are crucial in the Indian Aerospace and aviation sector. Machines are taking over various designing and manufacturing processes, however, they cannot replace the human workforce at the counters or on the flight who connect with the passengers and assist them with their requirements.
One way for employers to progress in the 4th Industrial Revolution is by hiring employees with specific skill sets. This is a short term solution and may not be productive in the long run, especially with the disparity in the formal education and vocational training required to be shop/floor ready, the number of talented workers is very less.
Companies need to create their own talent pool through work-based training programs like apprenticeships and achieve rapid scalability. While the concept is not new its adoption in various industries is gaining momentum and significance only now. In countries like India, where there is an abundant supply of labour, facilitating school to work transition through apprenticeship enables the youth to develop skills that cannot be automated. They also learn to develop and execute strategies that push them to stay on top of innovations in their particular field and develop knowledge to adapt and grow with the changing technology.
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