Industry-academia skill gap a road-block for auto industry

The Indian automobile market, accounting for seven percent of the nation’s overall GDP is certainly one of the fastest growing sectors in the country catering to more than 32 million employment opportunities.

As the auto sector expands, it has to evolve simultaneously to keep the momentum going. In the age of digital disruption and what we call the ‘Industry 4.0’ it becomes all the more important to be well versed with the ever-evolving times, where every other day, one or the other practices become obsolete.

The biggest challenge therefore lies in training and building an automotive workforce, an entire system that is skilled enough to tactfully and effectively accept the call into question and propose solutions to the same, considering the lower levels of training in the auto industry and the latest skills to deal with the updated technology like skills to service electric vehicles which have a completely different built-up than the traditional ICE vehicles. Therefore, skilling and up-skilling (training and re-training) are essentially what is the need of the hour and should become a part of the industry culture.

As the nation seeks Aatmanirbhartathe automotive industry also needs to address the various ‘must knows’ and ‘must do’s’ to bridge the industry-academia gap that perhaps is the best approach going forward.

We are still playing catchup when it comes to countries like ours and developed countries. There are multiple aspects that require attention, prioritising more on theory+practical methods for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) courses, focusing on building a tech-savvy skillset and knowledge in artificial intelligence (AI) and entrepreneurial qualities would all render good results in terms of quality learning and employment ready profile of the youth of the country, an academia and industry melange possibly.

An amalgamation of learning – hands-on training- experience through internships or time-bound projects is the demand on priority and should be promoted more at the authoritative levels.

Undoubtedly, innovation and entrepreneurship are being encouraged at every level, exigency is to take this to the grassroots which can be only done if the governments (central and state), educational institutions, and the private sector ally towards one common goal and work in the direction of eliminating all the hindrances that fall in the way, be it monetary needs, infrastructural needs or the need to create a generation qualified enough to create jobs and not the disappointed youth which is literate but lacks creativity and critical thinking.

Also Read: What does it take to excel as an automotive engineer in India?