All of us are aware of the global economic upheavals post the pandemic. There was a sudden jolt when commercial production and consumption spending in India was severely disrupted. Factories closed down, retail purchases flatlined, classes discontinued – we have seen it all.
According to the ILO-ADB Report, over 4.1 Million Youth in India lost their jobs during the lockdown period. Another report by Global Consultants asserts that India is touted to lose 130 million jobs this year.
Well, let’s not panic just yet. Although these figures are quite petrifying, some sectors have capped off with great sales figures and higher recruitment rates. IT services, Banking/finance, E-Learning, healthcare, and entertainment are amongst those few sectors which have braced up strategically.
ICA Edu Skills has been training millions of people for the past 20 years with a proven track record of placing its students in top-ranked companies. So how did they manage to place 200+ students even during the time of layoffs?
Let’s hear it from our CEO, Mr Ankit Shyamsukha.
Q. What is the total number of placements during the lockdown period?
Ankit: We have placed about 206 students in the First Qtr of the Year, and we are still counting. This is when the country was under a strict lockdown until 31st May 2020.
Q. Which zone/regions have received the highest number of placements and why?
Ankit: Delhi, Kolkata, Chandigarh are some of the top regions. These are the places characterized by a high working population that is otherwise not native to the city.
Q. Which zone/region has received the lowest number of placements and why?
Ankit: Cities such as Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Bangalore, Chennai, etc were categorized as highly infected regions. The applicants were not comfortable to join immediately with the fear of COVID19 and the employers were also holding up the recruitments accordingly.
Q. What challenges have you faced to arrange the meeting between the students and recruiters during the placement drive?
Ankit: Recruitment in India is highly personal in nature where a physical meeting still holds a lot of importance. We noticed there were a lot of HRs who wanted to hire but were sceptical to take online interviews. Initial screening was not a problem, but the final selection process sometimes got delayed. It took some hand-holding, counselling and assurance to convince the HRs that the E-meets were not only quicker and better but were more effective as well. After a few rounds of hirings, the recruiters became more comfortable and adapted to this medium. I feel E-meets are going to be the new normal, at least in the preliminary rounds.
As far as strategies are concerned, we have had to change our delivery technique and revamp our teaching pedagogy to ensure the participants are properly trained. Initially, it was difficult since we heavily relied on guided learning under supervision in a controlled environment, however with the help of technology we devised methods to ensure the training stayed effective irrespective of the student’s virtual or physical presence. We introduced daily assignments and practical classes which helped students understand each concept with much more clarity and E-Workshops to address their doubts before each session. This, in turn, ensured that each concept was self practised by all participants.
Q. Online training and placements are going to be the new norm – What are the new things you’ve learnt during this unexpected pandemic situation which led to such outcomes, especially during the time of lay-offs?
Ankit: Unlearn and Relearn is the mantra. Staying on pace with changing scenarios and trends is very important. Every job role has evolved and transformed. What was relevant in 2010 is redundant today. The first casualties of the pandemic were people with redundant skills. In fact, the data around hiring is enough to prove that vacancies are very much there in all fields however the people with the right skills are not there. I think people have started to realise this and they are finally investing in themselves.
Identifying areas they need to improve upon can either help them stay relevant or help them drive the value chain. Online learning has suddenly become the obvious choice not only because it was the alternative during this time but because after trying it out people also saw it is really effective. As they say “Karo to Jano”
Q. Are you implementing new ways to improve the placement scenario for students who enrolled in Job-Guarantee courses?
Ankit: We have had to change our delivery technique and revamp our teaching pedagogy to ensure the participants are properly trained. Initially, it was difficult since we heavily relied on guided learning under the supervision of a controlled environment.
However, with the help of technology, we devised methods to ensure the training stays effective irrespective of the student’s physical or virtual presence. We introduced daily assignments and practicals which helped students understand each concept with much clarity and workshops to address their doubts before each session. This, in turn, ensured that each concept was self practised by all participants.
Q. Is E-Learning going to be the New Norm?
Ankit: Data penetration is still a major challenge especially in the rural areas. In a lot of training models, physical presence is still imperative. When things are back to normal, when people are meeting each other without any regulations, only then we will understand if people are ready to adapt to the e-learning pedagogy or they still prefer classroom training for a wholesome experience.
Learn more about Job-Guarantee Courses here.