Driving future-ready workforce: TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship leads discussion on ‘Innovation on Talent Supply Chain’

23, April, 2024, New Delhi: TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, India’s first & largest privately owned Degree Apprenticeship program from the house of TeamLease Services, hosted a CXO Discussion at The Leela, Gurgaon, focusing on “People Supply Chain Innovation – Strategies to Build a Future Ready Workforce”. The event aimed to address the imperative strategies needed to cultivate a future-ready workforce, given India’s noteworthy addition of 4 million jobs last year.

The discussions delved into challenges, benefits, and implementation of strategies on various pertinent topics. The colloquium entailed discourses on Degree Apprenticeships, Work Integrated Learning, White Collar Apprenticeship Programs, Global apprenticeship mobility and Managed Training Services. Specifically apprenticeships combining higher education with work, offered a sustainable and ROI-delivering approach for the talent pipeline for organizations. They also aided in tackling several challenges, such as reducing the time for hiring, lowering the hiring costs, and enhancing hiring quality. Additionally, they serve as an important intervention for formalizing India’s workforce and creating a scalable skilling ecosystem. Apprenticeships have led to a 50% reduction in talent acquisition costs, a 25% decrease in attrition rates, and a 20%-25% increase in business productivity. Over three years, they’ve shown a remarkable 3X Returns on Investment, highlighting their value in driving organizational success.

The principal focus of the dialogue was the advancement of a Tripartite agreement model, orchestrating synergy between industry, academia, and the youth. This model is pivotal in melding the realms of education and employment, seamlessly integrating formal academia with practical, on-the-job training. Such a collaborative architecture is instrumental in mitigating skill gaps, thereby sculpting a workforce adept for the future—a necessity in an era marked by rapid technological progress and significant economic shifts.
CXO executives concurred, recognizing apprenticeships as a linchpin in harmonizing the dynamics of education and employment. By weaving practical workplace experience with theoretical academic study, apprenticeships furnish individuals with the requisite skills and knowledge for workforce efficacy. This methodology not only aligns with the impulsive requisites of contemporary enterprises but also fortifies individuals, enabling them to flourish in their vocational pursuits.

A.R.Ramesh, CEO of TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, highlighted the significant shifts in job dynamics driven by evolving technology, emphasizing the emergence of new roles. With projections indicating that a quarter of the world’s incremental workforce will originate from India in the next decade, and 60 – 80 million jobs disrupted by AI in the coming years, there’s a pressing need to cultivate a skilled and qualified workforce. Ramesh stressed the imperative of broadening and enhancing the skilling ecosystem, particularly through apprenticeships, especially Degree Apprenticeships, and work-based learning programs. These initiatives play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between academia and industry, shaping the careers of aspiring professionals, and empowering businesses with a custom-skilled workforce. Furthermore, corporate social responsibility initiatives play a vital role in promoting societal welfare through apprenticeship programs. Expenditures on apprenticeship training (over and above 2.5% apprenticeship quota mandated for organizations as per Apprentices Act 1961) can be booked under CSR spends, enhancing its economic viability. But more importantly, by qualifying as ‘enhancing vocational skill’ and ‘livelihood enhancement projects’ under CSR activities, these initiatives serve as a cornerstone in fostering a more inclusive and skilled workforce.

Sumit Kumar, Chief Strategy Officer at TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, emphasized the urgent need for reskilling, pointing out that half of the workforce in India requires upskilling. He emphasized that organizations are turning to apprenticeships as a solution to optimize talent costs, strengthen talent supply chains, and fuel business growth. Remarkably, 83% of organizations anticipate a notable increase in apprenticeship engagements, further highlighting their pivotal role in addressing the evolving needs of today’s workforce.

Dhriti Prasanna Mahanta, Business Head and Vice President, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, said, “Over the past six years, apprenticeships have emerged as indispensable interventions within the talent supply chain across various industries. The impact has been profound, with a staggering 28,21,178 apprentices engaged and trained. Notably, the Automotive and Electronics sectors have taken the lead with 8.2 lakh apprentices, showcasing a significant investment in skill development. Additionally, IT/ITeS (2.6 Lakhs), Retail (2.3 lakhs), and Tourism and Hospitality (65,000) have also embraced apprenticeship programs, recognizing their role in nurturing a skilled workforce. These initiatives are not just about training; they are catalysts for innovation and growth. By providing apprentices with hands-on experience and tailored training, these programs effectively bridge the gap between theoretical education and the practical skills demanded by industries. This linkage ensures a seamless transition for apprentices into the workforce, equipped with the precise skills and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s dynamic workplace environment.
Moreover, apprenticeships serve as engines of innovation, fostering creativity and problem-solving abilities among participants. The interactive nature of these programs encourages experimentation and the application of theoretical knowledge to real-world challenges, driving continuous improvement and adaptation within industries. Ultimately, apprenticeships are more than just training schemes; they are strategic investments in human capital that yield long-term benefits for individuals and industries.”

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