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69% of Indians looking to upgrade skills

MUMBAI/BANGALORE: A large chunk of the workforce in the emerging markets of Asia-Pacific is looking at skill enhancement and career development when compared to their global peers, says a recent study conducted by a global recruitment firm.

As many as 69% of Indian employees are either actively seeking or considering further education or training, significantly higher than in Europe and the Americas, according to findings of a survey conducted by Kelly Services , shared exclusively with TOI.

Two-thirds of respondents in Asia-Pacific said their main motivation for undertaking training is to enhance their chances of promotion with their current employer, rather than leaving the organization to work with a different employer or start their own business. As many as 59% employees surveyed in Europe and 55% in the Americas said they were exploring further skill development.

"Employers are today challenged to have long-term development plans as average employee tenures have reduced and skills required by an organization keep changing , leading to short-term development focus," said Kamal Karanth, MD at Kelly Services India.

What this survey reveals is that most of those who are seeking to upgrade their skills are actually doing it so they can advance in their existing roles, Karanth said.

The survey was conducted among 1,20,000 respondents across 31 countries in the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and the APAC regions. In India, employees from the IT sector along with engineering and healthcare industries were the ones who opted for upskilling the most.

Nirmala Menon, CEO of Interweave, a Bangalorebased consulting firm which focuses on diversity issues, said that in the past banks hired only from banks while FMCG companies picked up people who had prior experience in the FMCG space. "That era is well over. Today, enterprises compete to get onboard people with crossfunctional expertise, to infuse knowledge diversity into their organization. To stay attractive in such a dynamic marketplace, employees need to constantly look at re-skilling , talent upgradation and training," said Menon.

Experts said that today's workforce is more aspirational and ambitious while wanting to explore opportunities in a whole new industry. "It is abig challenge to stay employable and attractive in the job market. Also, with changing dynamics and the emergence of newer technologies, people are forced to unlearn the old and learn new things. For instance , someone who wants to make a career in emerging technologies like Big data or analytics might take up a crash course in statistics," said Ankita Vashistha, MD at Tholons Global Institute, a skilling/re-skilling outfit.

In the APAC region, the highest rates for planned upskilling is for employees in Thailand, with 83% set to embark on training, followed by Indonesia at 78%, China at 74% and India at 69%.