Skilling - The Engine of the Economy
The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry conducted the CEO Forum’s 11th Breakfast Meeting on Friday, 1st of November 2019 at the Taj Gateway Hotel, Ernakulam.
Mr. V Venugopal, President of the Chamber, delivered the Welcome Address and introduced the Speaker for the meeting.
Mr. Ravi Tennety, Chief Executive Officer - Training and Skilling Division, Quess Corp Limited, Bangalore spoke on "Skilling – The Engine of the Economy." The forum discussed the relationship between skills and economic growth and how skill development could facilitate a higher growth in the economy.
Mr. Tennety said that a well-educated population, equipped with knowledge and skills is not only essential for economic growth, but is also a precondition for steady growth since it is the educated and skilled person who will benefit most from the employment opportunities. He also said that knowledge, skills, and technology are the backbone of our economy and we have to recognize these three elements as the key drivers to economic growth.
Mr. Tennety emphasized the fact that the secret to realizing the potential of an emerging superpower like India lies in understanding and steering through the complexities of its economy. While India’s large young workforce is a great resource, it isn’t being utilized optimally to power the nation’s growth. He said that 12 million are expected to join the labour market every year for the next 2 decades and 57% of the population is in working age (700 million) of which 500 million will need some form of vocational skills.
In the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the ever-increasing shift towards automation and digitization, jobs demand familiarity and expertise in disruptive technologies. These skill requirements posing a challenge to young Indians and there is a huge mismatch between the demand and supply in terms of a skilled workforce. This is weighing the nation down and crippling its long-term economic growth prospects, he said.
Mr. Tennety explained the Skill Pyramid and presented a statistical report of opportunities in different sectors for people falling under different skill levels in the pyramid. He said that policies like NAPS should be promoted and significant resources should be allocated for skill development initiatives. He pointed out that the low industry participation in building skill capital and low investments in talent building need to be addressed immediately.
The Forum also discussed the supply and demand-side constraints like the unorganized sector, the agri-based economy, high rural population, parental pressures, demographic peer groups, lack of a premium on skills, low-cost structure, low career progression opportunity, low minimum wages and high urban cost of living, etc.
Mr. Bibu Punnooran, Executive Committee Member of the Chamber presented a Memento the Speaker.
Mr. K Harikumar, Vice President of the Chamber proposed the Vote of Thanks.