Skilling and Technology Driving Economic Resurgence

In December 2020, the International Labour Organization said in a press release that around 81 million jobs were lost in Asia-Pacific alone during the first wave of the pandemic. Less than a year later, a few days before the G20 Leaders’ Summit in 2021, the International Labour Organization warned of a stalled global labour market recovery. This time was also the beginning of the great resignation era with everyone from fresh recruits to experienced professionals choosing to let go of their jobs. In the span of a year, the global economy saw professionals and enterprises both experiencing the devastating impact of the pandemic.

There is an interesting pattern if one looks, every decade, there is a change in what enterprises require for reaching the next goal post vs whether their existing workforce possesses the right skills to make the journey there. Such a recalibration, coupled with the turn of the economy, often leads to the kind of devastating impacts like we witnessed during the pandemic, albeit, not at this large a scale. As the economy starts showing promising signs of recovery in all sectors, new opportunities are available for professionals with the right kind of skill set. This growth is being driven by technology, and professionals with skills in tech.

Let us take the example of hyperlocal deliveries, India-based Zomato and Swiggy, primarily food-delivery platforms, ventured into the grocery zone, brought ease and safety to grocery delivery during the multiple waves of the pandemic. Both these startups rely upon a robust set of artificial intelligence, user-friendly APIs, and powerful machine learning algorithms capable of analyzing real time data from their logistics fleet and using it to determine the best routes, the closest stores, and the fastest delivery times. What makes these companies thrive in difficult times is the tech stack they have invested in, and the incredibly skilled teams qualified and capable of delivering impactful solutions using tech.

A key takeaway from the hyperlocal delivery success story is that tech will continue to be crucial for driving growth across sectors, and by extension, people skilled in modern and upcoming technologies will be leading from the front. At the heels of International Labour Day on May 01, 2022, one of the big three statistical ratings organizations, Fitch Ratings released a commentary saying that the US is expected to recover all the pandemic related job losses by the third quarter of 2022.

A few years ago, in June 2017, the CEO of a niche software development firm from India, Kreatio Software, Krishna Kumar, caused a stir on Twitter with his tweet storm exposing the widening chasm between the skills that the industry needs, and what is taught at colleges, the redundancy of certain skills over time, and the need for professionals, as well as enterprises to rethink the approach to reskilling, to stay relevant, to make a difference, and to create solutions that lead to positive change. From agriculture to waste management, to finance, to education, today, we see many enterprises sporting the suffix of –tech, i.e., agritech, fintech, edtech, and more. There is a simple reason for this – that is the importance of tech in changing how these sectors essentially function and driving sustainable growth across industries.

As the modern workforce and employers learn to balance industry needs with available skill-sets and the growing role different technologies will play in catalyzing such growth, there will be a vacancy for people who embrace technology and master its uses in solving modern problems. Both enterprises and individuals can address this gap when they choose to invest in reskilling at a micro and a macro level. Where outcome-focused learning is encouraged, the workforce is saved from redundancy, and deeply invested in the organization’s growth, as the organization is invested in theirs. The great news, as per a recent World Economic Forum report, is that 73% of global enterprises are looking to provide reskilling and upskilling opportunities to most of their staff! This simple act sets the stage for growth for the next decade.

Authored by: Mr. Subramanyam Reddy, Founder and CEO, KnowledgeHut

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