Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, released findings from a new research report showing that the need for digital skills training became more acute during the pandemic, with 95 per cent of workers in India reporting they need more digital skills – the ability and knowledge to apply digital technologies for tasks in the workplace – to cope with changes in their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The report found that over the next year, the number of India workers requiring digital skills for their jobs is projected to increase by 27.3 million, representing seven per cent of India’s workforce. Despite this, only 45 per cent of employers in India have a training plan in place, which could affect their competitiveness in such areas as productivity, innovation, and employee retention.
The “Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce” report, prepared by strategy and economics consulting firm AlphaBeta, and commissioned by AWS, surveyed 1,012 digitally skilled workers in both technology and non-technology roles, and 303 employers in India, with representation from public, private, and nonprofit sectors of different sizes and industries. The report also found that the ability to use cloud-based tools, such as cloud developer tools, as well as online collaboration, accounting, and customer relationship management (CRM) software, will be the most in-demand skill required by employers by 2025, followed by technical support skills, and cybersecurity skills. It also highlights the need for more advanced cloud computing skills, including machine learning and cloud architecture design, which emerged as the fifth and sixth most in demand digital skills by employers in India by 2025. These skills are expected to be in high demand in businesses from healthcare to agriculture, fintech to media and entertainment.
By 2025, 63 per cent of workers in India feel they will require training in cloud-related skills to progress in their careers. Among these workers who feel that they require training in cloud-related skills, 45 per cent feel that they need to learn how to make use of cloud-based tools in their work, 24 per cent of workers also feel that they will require training in migrating on-premises facilities to the cloud, and 32 per cent believe they will require cloud architecture design skills. Employers who support skills training programs see significant benefits, with 92 per cent reporting improved employee productivity, 92 per cent stating they were able to fast-track their digitisation goals, 92 per cent achieving cost efficiencies, 90 per cent reporting higher employee retention, and 91 per cent seeing increased revenue.
Genevieve Lim, Director, APAC, AlphaBeta (part of Access Partnership), said, “While the need for digital skills has been growing for years, the research shows that job changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic have accelerated the need for more training for both tech and non-tech workers on digital capabilities in India. Organisations have accelerated their digitisation process to cope with the pandemic and ensure their long-term competitiveness. Transitioning into a digital-first economy will help countries’ recovery from Covid-19 and secure a stronger economic future. There is an urgent need for governments to work together with employers, training providers, and workers to meet these diverse and growing digital learning needs.”
“Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen organizations of all sizes accelerate their digital transformation plans, driving an increased need for employers and their workers to advance skills training for cloud computing, cybersecurity, and machine learning,” said Rahul Sharma, President, Public Sector, AISPL, AWS India and South Asia.
“The Building Digital Skills for the Changing Workforce report shows an urgency for workers and employers to increase digital skills knowledge and maximise the benefits of technology to individuals and organizations. AWS is committed to collaborating with industry and government in India to address the digital skills shortage and stay ahead of the training curve. We are embracing a culture of lifelong learning and micro-skills as the new operating model for the future and current workforce through cloud curriculum integration in higher education, and programs like AWS re/Start. Our goal is to help people—from beginners to seasoned IT professionals—gain new cloud computing skills,” added Sharma.