Cos in niche areas build own talent through academies
CHENNAI: The yawning skill gap in the country is not going amiss. The government recently announced amendments to the Apprentices Act 1961 to make it attractive for the industry and youth. The India Skills Report 2016 suggests that between now and 2025, while over 250 million young people are estimated to enter the Indian workforce, only 5% of youth would have obtained vocational skills through formal training.
In a bid to tap into the demographic dividend of the country, a handful of corporates are getting their hands dirty and taking it on from the grass root level by setting up academies or partnering with existing colleges.
While Chennai-based Zoho Corp set up their own university over a decade ago, companies like TAKE Solutions, WNS Global and S 10 Healthcare are investing in their own academies/ tailor-made programs to upskill their workforce in niche skills to support the specialized work they do.
TAKE Solutions, a technology solutions provider in the field of life sciences, has over 1500 employees globally. The company set up TAKE Academy of Life Sciences and Leadership in 2014 to create a sustainable and scalable platform for a skilled pool of resources "Some areas of Clinical R&D and healthcare present brand new market opportunities and we would like to be the first movers in training requisite resources," said Ram Yeleswarapu, president & CEO, TAKE Solutions. Offering courses like a diploma qualification in Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance for B Pharm, M Pharm or Chemistry & Bio Chemistry students, the company offers training in Highly specialized functional, technical and even soft skills.
Working with over 200 clients across the globe, WNS Global, the BPM services provider sees analytics becoming increasingly important for sharper and smarter decision-making. "In the world of data analytics, data harnessing, software and statistical models do only part of the job. The most critical element — the core analysis of data - is very much a human function," said Keshav Murugesh, Group CEO, WNS Global Services.
WNS has a domain based university, called The Gateway, offering structured learning for employees to sharpen their industry skills and cultivate their talent and leadership abilities. WNS today has domain universities in finance and accounting, travel and leisure, banking and financial services, healthcare, insurance, and shipping and logistics.
The company has also tied up with NIIT to launch a 2 year MBA program in business analytics. Graduates will develop their skills in various analytical tools for generating business intelligence pertaining to different functional areas of an organization. With a guaranteed placement in WNS, loan assistance and a stipend, WNS offers an intriguing option for the youth to upskill themselves.
S10 Healthcare is a Chennai-based platform with over 1200 doctors, 198 clinics and 300 and counting employees working closely with doctors and patients of various branches of medicine. Sridharan Sivan, founder S 10 Healthcare believes in adopting a different approach to skilling his workforce. "When we build our own academy and replicate the university model, it brings strain on costs. It also becomes bureaucratic and loses purpose," said Sivan. As part of their CSR activities, Sivan has partnered with existing colleges to use their infrastructure along with tailor-made curriculum developed by Sivan's team.