Demand for niche skills to increase in coming years: Experts

NEW DELHI: Polarisation of the labour market is deepening amid rising wage inequality and this trend is likely to continue as demand for niche skills is only going to increase in coming years, say experts.

According to HR experts, there is high unemployment alongside unfilled jobs and at the same time low-skill or not so niche skill jobs are continuously being automated thus leaving the once employed, unemployed with no much future.

“The demand for niche skills and upcoming

technologies is only going to increase in the coming 10 years, and is a reality in the Indian marketplace today,” SHRM India Senior Knowledge Advisor Dedeepya John said.

Matt Krentz, Senior Partner and Managing Director at the Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office also believes “as technology is increasingly applied to increase productivity, those without the relevant skills and technologies will find it difficult to move beyond low wage jobs”.

According to a recent Manpower

Groups report, though new ways of working are emerging, yet inequality and skills gap is widening. The noted, there is high unemployment alongside unfilled jobs, rising productivity with stagnant wages, and economic recovery with declining upward mobility for many.

Prashant Bhatnagar, VP-Hiring and Staffing, SapientNitro India said organisations are having to make up for skills gap by implementing stringent hiring processes followed by elaborate capability building programmes.

At the entry level, organisations invest anywhere from four weeks up to a year in all round development. Besides company specific orientation programmes, this includes core functional training and soft skills, Bhatnagar said.

Commenting on this trend, HCL TechnologiesBSE -2.74 % Global Head, People Practices R Anand said this practice (pay difference) was always there and earlier it used to be based on responsibility level, now it is based on skill level.

Regarding the relation with skill and pay, he said that the level of responsibility is one of the dimension, while the niche-ness of the skill is the second dimension, proficiency in the skill is the third dimension and performance on the job is the fourth dimension.

Over a period of time the dimension of skill will have a higher weightage, he added.

“With greater automation coming in, the ones not being able to constantly upgrade their skills will find it hard to find a place

in the modern workplace,” Founder and CEO Divyan Gupta said.

Organisations are trying their best to enhance the skill set of their workforce. That includes mentoring and coaching for employees/ future employees on what to learn to keep themselves employable.

Kanupriya Sekhri AVP – Strategic Initiatives School Of Inspired Leadership, said “while government and public private partnership NSDC are supporting several initiatives on the skilling front, the corporate sector has also stepped up their involvement to upskill their existing workforce”.

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