Skill Mapping: India’s SWADES aspires to meet industry needs
The Indian government has launched (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) SWADES a skill mapping programme of its citizens returning from overseas during the COVID-19 travel restrictions.
The programme is a product of a joint collaboration between India’s Ministries of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Civil Aviation, and External Affairs.
This new scheme is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in many Indians leaving their high-paying jobs and business to return to India.
According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), one in four employees in India lost their jobs since March 2020.
Upon the announcement of SWADES and in a span of about one week, over 16,000 skilled Indians have registered for what is being promoted as the SWADES skill card.
This programme will require returning citizens to fill up the SWADES skill form which will make them eligible for a SWADES skills card.
The ministry will share the information with companies to match the right skills to suitable placement opportunities in the country.
“The card will facilitate a strategic framework to provide the returning citizens with suitable employment opportunities through discussions with key stakeholders including state governments, industry associations and employers,” the skills development ministry said.
Many of these individuals have experience working in sectors such as oil and gas, construction, tourism and hospitality, the automotive industry, and aviation.
What skills are most in-demand in India?
In addition to SWADES which maps existing skills and matches it to corporations, job aspirants will have to focus on upskilling to meet industry demands.
“Even before the pandemic, it became increasingly evident that the young generation who are just entering the workforce would need to constantly upskill themselves,” says Payal Kumar of BML Munjal University.
“The concept of education has transformed from school certificates and university degrees to life-long learning, especially through online courses. Now more than ever youngsters would have to be more agile, adaptable, and would need to constantly upskill their knowledge and skills.”
Jayant Krishna who is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) and also the executive director (public policy) at Wadhwani Foundation recommends that job aspirants should, “Develop a beginner’s mindset, inculcate critical thinking and acquire an aptitude for solving complex problems. Such a skillset would be extremely useful in post-COVID-19 India and hold them in good stead.”
The Times of India listed leadership skills, emotional intelligence, technology skills, and the ability and skills to adapt to change as the most critical skills to develop post-COVID-19.
Essentially, COVID-19 will bring change that will disrupt and reinvent the way offices function as well as the way people work. COVID-19 has not only brought on huge digital transformations as work migrates online, but also the use of artificial intelligence, internet-controlled or managed operations, as well as robotics, will help industries grow more resilient.
Leadership and emotional skills are no longer optional in today’s work, as strong leadership can make or break an organisation and team at a time of crisis. Strong leadership skills and the skills to manage teams remotely have grown in demand.
Additionally, emotional intelligence in the workplace has become critical, as employees and leaders with high emotional intelligence have better chances of survival.