Employers worldwide are struggling to find qualified employees. When you ask employees if they are able to find people who have the requisite skills, on an average globally 30 per cent of them say no.
The number of jobs that the youth will take up during the course of his /her lifetime (18-50 years of age) is on rise and has gone up to 11 in the recent times, contrary to the 3 or 4 number it used to be until a while ago! This makes lifelong learning and re-training important. So even if your university prepares you for your first job or the second job in terms of actual hard content, it’s soft skill that’s really going to determine your ability to be able to move on to the third or fourth and all the way to the eleventh job. So, this is the dilemma that is being faced globally.
When you ask students to what extent they feel universities are preparing them for the job market, it obviously varies by region but in systems where we have surveyed ; for example if you look at the Gulf you find 65 percent of the students saying they are dissatisfied with the knowledge the university imparts them with,. And this is more so, when it comes to certain soft skills like problem solving leadership team work, communications etc.
Vocational education is the forgotten middle in emerging markets, However, countries like Australia , Ireland , Japan, and Germany have a very strong vocational underpinning .Those are some systems that are seeing to ensure there is a very tight relationship between what industry wants and what education providers are teaching.
The gap is still big challenge. So, these systems that have been able to reduce this gap to a certain level have been those that are trying to very actively get industry associations to work closely with either vocational providers or higher education providers to help them understand the kind of skills they are looking for.
An initiative called Junior Management Program (JUMP) for young managers where a week long residential program on management perspectives and leadership skills. Future Leaders Programs (FLP) that aims at growing mid level managers on leadership values. FLP is a one year program with three 5 days residential workshops and projects. FLP aims to groom mid level managers into future leaders of the organization by exposing them to sessions and activities on leadership orientation business and people and process skills.
The leader within:
Symphony Service Corp has a four tier leadership development system. Tier 1 consists of personal leadership training where we equip our employees with basic leadership competencies needed to excel in personal leadership. Tier II emphasizes the need for project and program leadership which is focused on our middle managers to help build competencies needed to execute well. Tier III focuses on business leadership that fosters honing of leadership competencies for our business managers so that they become highly competent in managing growth revenues profits, people and client satisfaction. Tier IV emphasizes the significance of strategic / institutional leadership for honing senior managers’ competencies so that they take a helicopter view of managing the company – the big picture and long term and institution building focus.
At dun & Bradstreet India, all associates identified as part of the talent pool are put through formal program that focuses largely on helping leaders again insights into themselves as managers and understanding their personality profile their strengths and limitations. This program enables them to understand people better relate to them better appreciate their motivators and behaviors assess the potential of their team members and learn techniques to develop the same.