World Youth Skills Day 2022: Why upskilling gig workforce is the need of the hour

According to a recent Niti Aayog report, a whopping 31 per cent of gig workers in India are engaged in low-skilled jobs, necessitating the need to upskill them

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Gig workers are fast becoming a vital cog of the Indian workforce. According to a recent report by Niti Aayog titled 'India's Booming Gig and Platform Economy', India has an estimated 7.7 million gig workers. The report, the first- of- its-kind, estimates the number of gig workers to expand three-fold (23.5 million) by 2029-30. However, what is disappointing is the fact that high skilled gig workers are fewer in supply than the low skilled ones. Of the 7.7 million gig workers, only 22 percent are highly skilled, while 31 percent are engaged in low-skilled jobs.

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The minuscule percentage of gig workers in high skilled jobs speaks volumes about the necessity to upskill them. Says Irwin Anand, MD India & APAC, Udemy, "India has one of the youngest populations, and this demographic dividend is an advantage for our nation. Digitization and upskilling are key tools in not just empowering the country's workforce but also in keeping up with new booming sectors in the economy. Power skills like business etiquette also continue to gain focus among those seeking to sharpen their leadership capabilities."

In fact, a report by Ola Mobility Institute titled Unlocking jobs in the Platform economy stresses on the need of promoting platforms by the government for upskilling the gig workforce. It reads, "By promoting platforms, the government can enable the upskilling and diversification of platform workforce in newly structured and industry-tested manners. Platforms offer transferable skills and enable horizontal and vertical movement for their workers."

"If education imparts literacy, skilling makes one that much more employable. Skilling is not only limited to the young learners, but also extends to professionals who'd want to better their career path and advance their prospects in the corporate segment. In a world that is riddled with technological advancements, digital literacy assumes utmost importance and hence being digitally updated in quintessential,"says Girish Singhania, CEO, EduBridgeMaking crypto currency envirornment friendly

Says Anand Dureja, VP Beauty and Wellness, Urban Company, which has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) as key strategic partners of the Skill India Mission. "Our aim is to deliver high-quality, delightful services at home for consumers. For that, skilling is a critical focus area for our business. At Urban Company, under our training program, we majorly focus on specific skilling areas ranging from techniques and usage of tools to client service protocols and use of technology, such as the Urban Company partner app, Navigation apps, apps for using cabs, etc."

To give an example, Urban Company helped Rabiya who earlier used to work in her neighbourhood as a baby masseuse and then she joined Urban Company where she was trained and skilled to become a professional spa therapist. Now, she is realizing all her dreams one after another, says Dureja.