The world is facing a skill gap crisis, which is eventually leading to rising unemployment rates. The rise in unemployment is mainly because many graduates do not possess the soft and hard skills required to sustain, grow, and be efficient. However, there are many other reasons for the widening skill gap, such as technological advancements, evolving markets, etc.
According to Man Group’s Report on Talent Shortage 2020, 63% of Indian companies are facing a shortage of skilled workforce across various industries. The numbers are expected to increase in the forthcoming years.
However, experts believe companies can overcome skill shortages by putting people first. That is by investing in building and nurturing talent, enabling candidates to reach their potential, etc.
In this article, we will delve deep into understanding the meaning of a skill gap and look at effective ways to bridge the gap.
What is a Skill Gap?
A skill gap is the difference between your skills and the skills required by a company to perform a particular job. Some of the top in-demand technical and soft skills that can get you employed are:
|Digital marketing skills
|Time management skills
Skill gaps also occurs due to a lack of qualification or capability to handle a job position. However, the gap starts widening due to resistance to upskilling, lack of experience, age-old education policies, an ageing workforce, etc.
The Widening Skill Gap – Who All Are Being Affected?
Everyone is getting affected by the widening skill gap. From a student pursuing their degree course to a professional with a decade of work experience, everyone is affected because it hampers their prospects of getting a job.
Moreover, even employers are being affected by the widening skill gap primarily because lack of talent makes it hard for their companies to survive and sustain in the current milieu.
How Can Companies Bridge the Skill Gap?
To identify the cause(s) of skill gaps, employers can use evaluation methods like surveys, tests, assessments, and performance evaluations. Depending on the cause of the skill gap, they can formulate a follow-up plan to tackle the skill gap. Here, we have listed the top ways to bridge the skill gap.
Skill audit is a detailed and systematic process to evaluate an organisation’s workforce’s current skill set and compare it with those required by the company to enhance the overall productivity and achieve goals. It helps identify the gaps between the two and the skills employees need to acquire.
What Can You Find with Skill Audit?
- Skills and qualifications employees lack
- Gaps in the expertise
- The areas an employee needs to work on
Who Needs a Skill Audit, and How to Conduct It?
Organisations facing a skill gap crisis must do regular skill audits to assess the skills and competencies of their employees. Moreover, it helps organisations identify if they will meet their long-term goals.
Here’s a guide on how to perform a skill audit:
Step 1: Make A Concrete Plan. Don’t follow any audit template you find on the internet. It will not help you draw the desired results. Instead, develop a personalised audit plan that aligns with the company’s values, mission, and vision.
Step 2: Identifying essential skills. Every organisation has a unique mix of technical and soft skills that they want in their workforce. You need to identify that in this stage. Also, remember to think about the future. So, while identifying essential skills, keep the plan flexible to accommodate future changes.
Step 3: Survey. In this step, you must survey every employee to identify their skills. Comparing it to the company’s desired skill set will help you understand the main reason for the gap and chart ways to solve it.
Internal Training Programmes
Internal training programmes are one of the best ways to solve the skill gap crisis by filling the gaps and maximising the output of the employees.
Once you identify the right job-oriented training programmes, you can take adequate steps to ensure that your workforce undertakes these courses to become more efficient in performing their jobs.
Here are effective tips for HR managers finding internal training programmes:
- Take inputs from immediate bosses and senior managers while designing training programmes
- The training programmes must be job-specific
- You can hire external agencies to impart training in specialised areas or complex subjects
- Training programmes cannot be designed with a one-size-fits-all vision because every employee has different work limitations that need to be handled judiciously
- For long-term benefits, training programmes or upskilling must be a continuous process
To bridge the skill gap, HR managers can encourage their workforce to take online certification courses different educational institutions offer. Many indigenous online educational institutes provide specialised training programmes for working professionals.
Emeritus India offers top-notch certification courses to equip the current workforce with future skills. We have partnered with renowned Indian universities to offer some of the best-advanced learning programmes that are reshaping the future. Like, the advanced courses in digital marketing, digital transformation in businesses, artificial intelligence, information technology, and others.
Forecasting or Anticipating Trends
Taking a proactive approach can help in tackling the skill gap crisis better. Therefore, forecasting market trends will help identify the changes you may witness in future.
Moreover, it will give you adequate time to build a robust strategy to deal with the change.
How Can You Anticipate Trends?
The best way to anticipate trends is to monitor the market closely. You can use different sources to identify economic contraction or growth indicators that can impact the workforce.
How Can Employees Contribute to Bridging the Skill Gap?
Employees can also take efforts to bridge the skill gap; here are two ways by which you can reduce the skill gap.
· Skill development by undertaking different courses to hone existing skills and acquire new skills.
· Work on developing competency to perform complex tasks associated with your job role.
There remains a persistent need for skilled labour across various fields in India. Meanwhile, the skill gap crisis makes it hard for businesses to find skilled and talented candidates. The best way to tackle the problem is to adopt the strategies mentioned above while laying strong emphasis on upskilling.