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Reskilling the banking landscape

The banking sector is moving beyond the traditional ways of reskilling the workforce.

February 27, 2020 / 06:55 PM IST

Santosh Joshi

India's banking sector has undergone a paradigm shift in the past two decades. The demand for skills in sectors like banking and finance is evolving in response to the impact of digital transformation. Banking industry employs highly skilled people with specialized education qualification for most of its functions. However, over the last few years there has been an increasing trend to outsource recruitment and training needs of private sector banks to specialized skill development companies. The role of outsourcing has grown from being a mere cog to creation of employment opportunities for graduates aspiring to join banking sector.

Job openings that arise in the private sector put a premium on practical skills and work experience. Here, popular perception is that a good job requires a college or university degree. This misperception is the result of failure to provide affordable and good quality training programmes. Such dereliction is baffling when the unemployment among youth is very high.

To stop the demographic dividend from becoming a national burden, there is a need to invest heavily in skilling of the youth. Here, specialized recruitment and training companies offer graduates three and six months courses in banking and they will be later on deployed at banks as entry level employees and contribute to the wider adoption of financial services in India. A strong focus in Tier 3 to Tier 6 towns will result in increased number of graduates opting for such courses, thus enabling greater financial inclusivity.

The job market also saw the emergence of new age jobs that did not exist a few years back. Trade finance has picked up well after the slowdown in wholesale banking. This has opened up the need for trained and specialized workforce for trade finance. As the banks have been vying for fee income by distributing mutual funds, insurance and other investment products as a part of tax savings and insurance covers, the need for sales people is on the rise and the banks need workforce which is ready to deliver from day one. Our experience indicate that banks increasingly prefer to outsource training needs of new and current employees to reputed and renowned skill development companies which are focusing on banking and finance sector.

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The Indian fintech industry, which is another big hub for talent, has been on an upward growth trajectory in the last few years. The dominant theme of fintech is the booming digital payments space, which is set to grow to $1 trillion1 by 2023 according to Niti Aayog.

It is pivotal to skill the millennials who are willing to join the fintech sector. Millennials live in a fast paced and competitive market dynamics which requires them to keep abreast with the market in order to thrive. A diversified market calls for diverse skills set. In case of millennials in the fintech sector the skills need to be more accurate and based on logic with latest knowledge on managing tools and keeping in sync with latest developments in the sector.

The skill gap that is so wide is also due to lack of skill based training preparing the millennials for jobs for these differently and highly skilled sectors. The young graduates need to get a direction as to what and how to prepare them for jobs of the future, which is mostly lacking in basic education curriculum for them.

India Skills Report 2020 shows that industries are expected to ramp up hiring the most include banking and financial services.

Such trends relating to reskilling initiatives was not heard of some years back, but now the employers are trying to strengthen the skills and capabilities of their employees so that they can meet the changing business and organizational demands. We will see a lot of organisations pick up these initiatives to meet their talent demands.

The author is CEO of BankEdge-- a banking and financial sector skill development company. Views are personal.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Feb 27, 2020 06:55 pm

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