World Youth Skills Day 2021 is being celebrated today, and this year the day is probably more significant than ever. Due to the ongoing pandemic, and online education the youth of the country is under immense pressure. However, this has also shifted the focus more towards acquiring skills rather than just completing degrees. In an interview with Dataquest, Pasupathi Sankaran, chief operating officer, HirePro talks about the challenges being faced by youth in the country, and how they can overcome the same.
DQ: What are the challenges being faced by youth in getting employed since it’s the first batch that has graduated online?
Pasupathi Sankaran: A major challenge that the youth faces today is the uncertainty of timelines regarding their course completion, examinations and internship. This causes stress among students, as they cannot start their jobs even after receiving offers. Due to the nature of remote learning, students miss out on the experiential learning that happens in classrooms by means of collaboration which inculcate soft skills in them. While most IT jobs can be done remotely, the youth who get employed in non-tech sectors, who have to commute and stay for their work, are likely to get impacted.
DQ: What can youth do to increase their chances of getting employed at companies?
Pasupathi Sankaran: As the pandemic has taken away the goodness of in-person interactions, the young aspirants have to put in their efforts to build industry connections and networks remotely. Establishing interpersonal relationships within their peer group is of equal importance. In today’s remote work environment, soft skills have assumed more importance than ever. Organisations evaluate their ability to work independently and collaboratively, coupled with the willingness to be self-driven and disciplined. Students should focus on self-learning which can boost their employability. With continuous self learning, they should leverage the opportunities that come by their way and build their career.
DQ: What are the changes that need to introduced in the curriculum keeping the pandemic in mind?
Pasupathi Sankaran: The pandemic has made us inspect the conventional ways of education. The focus is going to be on the mode and mechanism that are used to impart learning rather than changes in the curriculum. Assessment of students’ merit should be done throughout the course instead of depending on a single examination. Looking ahead, adopting a mix of remote and classroom learning by institutions will be beneficial to students.