Skilling and re-skilling exercises have to betaken up on a massive scale in an era where rapid technology disruption is a commonplace, and when the country is seeking to offer jobs to its growing young population, said Mr. Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited, while delivering a keynote address at the CII 9th HR National Conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in Mumbai.

“With technological advancements, robots have become part of several processes. You cannot ask a private enterprise not to be productive. Integration of man and machines call for different skilling of people. Organizations have to use skilling to retain, strengthen and building teams for furthering their competitive advantage,” said Mr Mehta at the conclave deliberating on theme Talent, Technology and Transformation’.

Buttressing the need for creating jobs for a million of new youth entering the job market in the country every year, Mr Mehta said, “Organizations have to evolve an environment that is conducive for tech-savvy millennials as they are expected to form 50 per cent of the workforce soon.” The skills of yesterday are not suited for the skills needed for tomorrow, Mr Mehta added. 

Stating that learning has a different meaning in corporate human resources lexicon, Mr Mehta said, that the education system should address the present day skill needs. “Unlearning (old skills) and re-learning of new skills would be required at a time when new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Predictive Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) are taking over some of the critical functions in today’s organizations. That will increase employability of people in modern organizations.”

“Forging partnerships between academia and research institutions is necessary for promoting innovation as it is done in the US. For building these partnerships, India must go up quite a few notches in building this partnership,” Mr Mehta said, and adding that the country has to promote apprenticeship approach in a big way to develop and sustain high skill levels in line with Japan and Germany.

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