Up to 40% IT staff need re-skilling: Nasscom

Up to 40% IT staff need re-skilling: Nasscom

NEW DELHI: IT body Nasscom on Thursday said up to 40% professionals of the estimated four-million workforce need re-skilling over the next five years if they need to keep pace with the changing face and automation of the industry.

Nasscom, which tried to allay fears of large-scale job losses in the $154 billion industry, said upgrading skillset of the workforce is a must to ensure job losses are contained and remain at low levels. "There needs to be continued re-skilling, or either be prepared to perish. This is the new mantra," Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar said.

Raman Roy, chairman of the body, said skill upgradation should be taken up on a massive scale. He said there is a need for Indian IT professionals to get up-to-date with new-age technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence to remain relevant in the coming years.

"We need to re-skill faster than ever before," CP Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra said, while agreeing with the need for skill upgradation.

Nasscom, however, said that despite challenges from automation and new technologies, the Indian IT industry continues to remain strong and has been adding new jobs.

It said there is no panic situation in the IT industry and claimed fears around largescale job losses are not true. Around 6 lakh new jobs have been added over the last three years, which including 1.7 lakh in 2016-17.

"Reports of mass layoffs by IT companies in India are incorrect. In fact, the industry continues to be a net hirer with talent acquisition continuing across sectors... The sector remains one of the largest employers of the nation," the IT body said.

"Workforce realignment is common to any industry and is part of the regular exercise of yearly performance appraisal processes which only impacts 0.5-3% of the overall IT talent pool. Layoff is internal process of companies, where they look at their priorities and align talent. This is a key competitive strategy and there is no modification to this practice in the current year."