Upon being asked the solution to bridge the employability gaps in today’s young talent, talent leaders stood divided.
Edtech start-up Harappa, in a survey, has found that close to 80% of talent leaders and academics feel that the pandemic has changed the skill requirements needed to successfully manoeuvre post-pandemic (remote-first) workplaces and has made placements more challenging for young talent. The survey also found that, today, the top three skills that employers look for in young talent are (1) the ability to proactively problem-solve, (2) self-motivation, and (3) teamwork. Other skills highlighted are communication skills, resilience, reasoning logically, time-management, and learning on the job.
It also found that 95.6% of talent leaders believe a college education does not adequately prepare young talent for the workforce today and 96% of academics acknowledge that there is a greater need for academia-corporate collaboration in the wake of the pandemic to solve the ever-persistent employability challenges.
The survey uncovered some interesting insights around the biggest need-gaps in today’s curriculum. Talent leaders identify creative problem-solving as one of the biggest need-gaps, followed by critical thinking, effective collaboration, decision making, logical reasoning and others; whereas academic respondents feel critical thinking followed by creative problem-solving, effective collaboration, building networks, professional writing, and speaking skills and decision making, among others, were the biggest need-gap. The ability to problem-solve is also one of the top skills employers look for in young talent: a skill that evidently remains missing from our curriculum.
Upon being asked the solution to bridge the employability gaps in today’s young talent, talent leaders stood divided. While 29.3% recommend co-creating curriculum with enterprise representation, 28.6% recommend including thrive skills (cognitive, social and behavioural) in the curriculum and the other 25.6% recommend including corporate representatives as part of faculty. On the contrary, 73% of academics feel that building an industry-campus partnership to co-create curriculum is key to address employability need gaps in our youth. Further, 67% of academics feel the need for corporates rolling out higher internship opportunities for campuses and 49% think there is a need for regular workshops and seminars on skill development from potential employers.
Shreyasi Singh, founder & CEO, Harappa, said, “For far too long, academia and industry have been like the parallel banks of a mighty river of talent: never to converge on a shared destination. As India continues to reel under the brunt of the pandemic, it has also been facing an unenviable employability crisis for many years now. At Harappa, we believe it’s now or never that academia and industry push and provoke each other, and motivate and support one another, to solve India’s most crucial talent challenges.”