95% of Indian workers believe they need additional digital skills to adapt to employment changes

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The research results of a new research report released by Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, show that the need for digital skills training became more acute during the pandemic, with 95 percent of workers in India reporting that they need more digital skills, or the ability and knowledge to apply digital technologies for tasks in the workplace, to cope with changes in their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the survey, the number of Indian workers who require digital skills for their professions is expected to rise by 27.3 million over the next year, accounting for 7% of the country’s workforce. Despite this, only 45% of Indian firms have a training strategy in place, which might hurt company competitiveness in areas like productivity, creativity, and staff retention.

The “Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce” report, commissioned by AWS, surveyed 1,012 digitally skilled workers[1] in both technology and non-technology roles[2] and 303 employers[3] in India, with representation from public, private, and nonprofit sectors of various sizes and industries.

The ability to use cloud-based tools, such as cloud developer tools, online collaboration, accounting, and customer relationship management (CRM) software, will be the most in-demand skill required by employers by 2025, according to the report, followed by technical support skills and cybersecurity skills. It also emphasizes the need for sophisticated cloud computing abilities, such as machine learning and cloud architecture design, which will be the fifth and sixth most in-demand digital talents in India by 2025, respectively. From healthcare to agriculture, fintech to media and entertainment, these abilities are projected to be in high demand.

By 2025, 63 percent of Indian workers believe they will need cloud-related skills training to advance in their employment. 45 percent of those who believe they need cloud-related skills training believe they will need to learn how to use cloud-based tools in their jobs, 24 percent believe they will need training in migrating on-premises facilities to the cloud, and 32 percent believe they will need cloud architecture design skills. Employers who support skills training programs see significant benefits, with 92 percent reporting increased employee productivity, 92 percent claiming they were able to accelerate their digitization goals, 92 percent claiming cost efficiencies, 90 percent claiming higher employee retention, and 91 percent claiming increased revenue.

“While the need for digital skills has been growing for years, the research shows that job changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the need for more training for both tech and non-tech workers on digital capabilities in India. Organizations have accelerated their digitization process to cope with the pandemic and ensure their long-term competitiveness. Transitioning into a digital-first economy will help countries recover from COVID-19 and secure a stronger economic future. There is an urgent need for governments to work together with employers, training providers, and workers to meet these diverse and growing digital learning needs,”

Genevieve Lim, Director for APAC, AlphaBeta (part of Access Partnership), said.

AWS is putting hundreds of millions of dollars towards a global commitment to give free cloud computing skills training to 29 million individuals in order to help tackle this problem. AWS provides over 500 free digital training courses to anyone with an interest in learning and access to the internet. AWS collaborates with higher education institutions, nonprofits, workforce development organizations, governments, and employers on a variety of digital upskilling programs to prepare the next generation of cloud professionals for early cloud careers and to build a diverse pipeline of entry-level talent into the workforce.

AWS re/Start, for example, is a free, full-time, 12-week program in India that trains jobless, underemployed and transitioning individuals for careers in cloud computing. Tech Mahindra Foundation, the CSR arm of Tech Mahindra Ltd., and Generation India, a non-profit organization, recently announced that they will support the AWS re/Start program to train unemployed and underemployed individuals in cloud computing, expanding the program’s reach to more cities in India. Since 2017, AWS has taught more than one million people in India cloud skills.

“Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen organizations of all sizes accelerate their digital transformation plans, driving an increased need for employers and their workers to advance skills training for cloud computing, cybersecurity, and machine learning. AWS India and South Asia. “The Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce report shows an urgency for workers and employers to increase digital skills knowledge and maximize the benefits of technology to individuals and organizations. AWS is committed to collaborating with industry and government in India to address the digital skills shortage and stay ahead of the training curve. We are embracing a culture of lifelong learning and micro-skills as the new operating model for the future and current workforce through cloud curriculum integration in higher education, and programs like AWS re/Start. Our goal is to help people—from beginners to seasoned IT professionals—gain new cloud computing skills,” 

said Rahul Sharma, President, Public Sector – AISPL.

The most prevalent impediment to digital skilling is a lack of time to pursue training, which is cited by 77 percent of Indian workers. Workers can overcome this barrier by enrolling in on-demand courses in modular, micro-skills, such as the NASSCOM FutureSkills initiative, which curates learning content from global providers to train and certify IT professionals in emerging technologies, and governments can collaborate with industry to create short-term micro-skills training courses.

 “Natural evolution and a sense of urgency created by the pandemic have led to a rapid rise in the adoption of digital technologies across the board, leading to an accelerated increase in the demand for trained digital talent. Skilling at scale must be a national priority and become India’s competitive edge to enable the country grow as the global powerhouse for developing technological talent. To thrive in a digital future, new formats of skilling programs on emerging technologies must be built and delivered at a massive scale. NASSCOM FutureSkills Prime aims to enable the talent pool in India to develop competence in emerging technologies that will shape India’s techade across domains. Technologies such as cloud computing have seen rapid adoption, and courses such as the AWS Cloud Master Class on FutureSkills Prime provide a gateway for aspirational learners to build new skills and align to the fast-changing industry demands,”

Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said.
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