5G-backed skilled manpower needs to India 22 million by 2025

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India is poised to become a global supplier for both electronics and human resources, said Arvind Bali, chief executive, Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC).

India would require as much as 22 million or 2.2 crores of skilled manpower by 2025 as the country inches closer to the fifth-generation or 5G-centric technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics, and cloud computing, the telecom skills body said.

“Considering technologies like IoT, AI, machine learning, big data, cloud computing, and robotic process automation, roughly about 22 million workers will be required to skill or upskill themselves to match industry demand by 2025,” Arvind Bali, chief executive, Telecom Sector Skill Council (TSSC) told ETTelecom.

India, according to him, is poised to become a global supplier for both electronics and human resources and to achieve this, there would be a need to create an extended skill network with both industry and academia participation.

Gurugram-based telecom skills council, is a non-profit organization set up by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), to ensure the availability of skilled manpower in the industry.

India’s telecom sector currently employs nearly 4 million workers that has close to 60% direct workforce employed with telecom service providers – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) as well as multinational technology vendors such as Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, Ciena, Juniper and ZTE.

With expansion in the labour force in electronics equipment manufacturing through the recently introduced production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, Bali said that the industry has also identified the lack of skilled workforce which has triggered a large demand for upskilling of current workers and skilling of fresh workers.

The top executive further said that the body has already conducted extensive survey and market analysis to identify key futuristic roles and their applications, and its 5G and ICT-oriented courses were already in their final stages of development along with courses in m-data security and telecom business analytics.

However, on the flip side, nearly 70,000 people lost their jobs following Covid-19-induced shutdowns since March last year.

The majority of job losses, according to the skills group, were pertaining to the areas of telecom operations, Internet providers, technology systems integrators impacting profiles such as field sales and technical executives, and distribution channel representatives, due to cost optimization drive.