Telecom secretary K Rajaraman on Monday said the state governments should come forward to deploy funds for 5G-related skills and lay the foundation of a digital economy.
His comments come at a time when telcos have started rolling out 5G services and the demand for skilled talent will increase going forward.
“It’s very important that we take note of the developments. It’s not only 5G, the upcoming semiconductor technologies, the growth of electronics manufacturing, the country will require a range of skills which students need to be acquainted with,” Rajaraman said at an event organised by Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC). The secretary also emphasised on reorienting some of the telecom skills related courses in ITI and polytechnic colleges.
The government had recently announced setting up a taskforce to develop highly skilled workers and designers in the telecom sector.
“5G technology is expected to boost the Indian economy by $450 billion between 2023 and 2040 and we are currently facing an acute shortage of about 140,000 workers in 5G and its allied technologies… Over the past decade, we have trained over 100,000 candidates in various roles catering to the industry demand,” said Arvind Bali, CEO, TSSC.
For the industry, alignment of jobs to the required qualifications or skills is the utmost requirement especially at a time when technology landscape is changing in the country. Further, a large part of training will be required with regards to the software especially in 5G and upcoming 6G technology.
“For the industry, the most important part is outcome, especially for the software services industry, 95% of our business comes from outside of India and they’re constantly looking at what kind of outcome and projects can we take,” said Jagdish Mitra, chief strategy officer and head of growth at Tech Mahindra.
According to the industry executives, with the technology shifts globally, across all technologies like data sciences, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, there will be a gap of skill sets.
“With 5G, whole electronic manufacturing, mobile manufacturing, and globalisation, the challenges are new. It seems we have to create a new blueprint,” said Pankaj Mohindroo, chairman at India Cellular and Electronics Association.
“There should be a production linked incentive scheme for skill development in India, because ten years down the line if we do it right, we would be supplying skills to everywhere else in the world,” said Amit Marwah, head of customer marketing and communications at Nokia India.