“Skilling Attracts Budgets From All Corners”-A Study İn Indian IT Sector
Economic productivity increases with increasing number of skilled workers being able to perform tasks more efficiently. Other than financial paybacks for the community, skills development brings huge personal benefits by creating new possibilities - new ideas, new jobs, a chance to escape poverty or attain new levels of individual accomplishment. Education and training are the key determinants of skilled workforce. A new world of work is emerging from the rapid and large-scale technology advancement and global connectedness, that has massively disrupted the jobs market. It is projected that by 2030, over 50% of the 2 billion youth across the globe will not possess the skills or credentials essential to be part of the global labor force. Countries worldwide have called out the need for reforming education and addressing the gap in 21st Century Skills. UNESCO has laid out recommendations in these regards to include in National Education Policies. United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 stresses on the role of education to solve the global crisis. New educational programs on skill development and allocation of funds is visibly amongst the strategic objectives of organizations and nations. In a developing nation like India, the finance minister announced a whopping 3000 crore budget for the sole purpose of skill development in the country. With the outburst of several technological solutions that drive self-paced and self-directed learning, the individual learner’s commitment and motivation has utmost significance towards success of these initiatives. While we observe that organizations and governments have begun to reserve budgets for skilling needs, will these investments yield results? Is this a scalable model in the long term? How much of these budgets can be used for working population? How committed are the individual citizens to their own skill development? Are they willing put their skin in the game? The present study was conducted to capture the individual’s perspective on their willingness to spend money from their personal earnings for lifelong education and continuous upskilling. One of the key findings from the analysis of data collected by surveying 226 working professionals in the Indian IT sector revealed that 81% of the respondents are spending a portion of their earning for own skill development. Even if not spending currently there is a uniform willingness among 90% of the respondents to spend in the future. We studied in detail the variation in individual choice with changing demographic factors like age, work experience, gender, and digital dexterity. Through this article we share our findings and recommendations to the HR practitioners and organizations for redesigning the training objectives and budgets.