Nasscom planning to open its FutureSkills platform for colleges students to skill themselves online

Bengaluru : The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) is in talks with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to fund part of the skilling service platform it plans to open up for general use, a member of the lobby’s executive council told ET.

Last year, NASSCOM had launched the FutureSkills platform that would allow member companies to get their employees trained in new skills. The platform, which offers training in internet of things (IoT), robotic process automation (RPA), virtual reality, big data analytics, 3D printing, among others, went live with courses has participants from Nasscom member companies. “The next step of the platform is a Government of India-MeitY project that is there, to move it into B-to-C mode. The government will fund a substantial part of it to do the B-to-C model. It is in the final stages of discussion and we also need to scale the platform to that level,” BVR Mohan Reddy, executive vice-chairman at engineering research and design company Cyient, told ET in an interview.

Reddy, who is a member of Nasscom’s executive council, declined to specify what proportion of the cost the government might be willing to bear.

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He said that FutureSkills currently has over 100,000 users, and that over a period of time, the platform could train about 200 million people. Reddy said he is also working on a digital skilling roadmap with Niti Aayog to determine how to bring digital skills into the educational system. Nasscom has planned take the platform to colleges and allow students to skill themselves online.

“If one completes a course on emerging technology for example in machine learning or cloud computing, that person gets the course fee partly refunded. But we are still waiting for approvals. While the duration of the course could be as short as two months, the course fee cannot be exorbitant,” a Nasscom executive said. Skilling is an area where both the government and Nasscom have a significant interest. The government’s Skill India mission aims to train 400 million people by 2022, but only about 25 million people have been skilled under various government programmes.

Nasscom is considering issuing skill vouchers, or skill wallets, to incentivise young people to be skilled in a programme of their choosing. The recently created ‘National Policy on Software Products’ also talked about creating a sustainable talent pipeline through skilling and training programmers. For Nasscom, skilling is crucial as it is part of their strategy to enable IT companies to capitalise on the demand for new services. IT companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to retrain and skill their employees.

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