The second-panel discussion of CEO Unplugged 2020 organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. was Reflection on the Demand of Skilled Workforce.
The discussion was based on the ways in the assessment of existing skill shortages and for forward-looking information on how the labour market and the demand for skills might change. Both the panel discussion was able to broaden the different perspective on the Skill Ecosystem and its importance in the present time. The importance of skills is even more pronounced in a dynamic, globalized world as Skills are a critical asset for individuals, businesses and societies.
CEO Unplugged 2020 is a yearly forum organized by Glocal Pvt. Ltd. comprising series of panel discussion to establish a forum to discuss contemporary business challenges, opportunities and futuristic view with a sight of experiential learning to the newcomers in the business and students with an objective “Today Meets Tomorrow “.
The second panel discussion comprised of panelist; Dr.Kusmakar Bhatta, Director of CTEVT; Mr.Pawan Golyan, Chairman of Golyan Group; Mr.Anil Thaman, Chairman of Captain Outdoors and moderated by Ms.Elke Wisch, UNICEF Representative to Nepal.
The panel started with some of the words by the moderator Ms.Elke Wisch. She shared that the topic of discussion is not just important for public sector, but it should be linked with the private sector and the both public and the private sector are working closely together to make sure that whatever education, skill development and training is being provided for young people is relevant to the job market and jobs that the private sector is looking for.
Ms.Wisch firstly introduced the panelist and asked all of them to share their experience and also have their advice to the present generation on how we should move forward when it comes to skills, on acquiring skills about the current needs of the market in the business sector and also beyond they should be looking at?
Mr.Anil Thaman, Chairman of Captain Outdoors
As Ms.Wisch told you that people call me as Father of Outdoors, please don’t get confused about my age, see my experience. We are going to discuss Skills.
The first skills you must have when listening to panelist like us is Relax and listen to our experience that we have gained past few years. To be successful in this current world, we should be cheerful and enjoy and be positive. The best way to become positive is to believe in yourself. You must have confidence in yourself. First advice -Be confident. And make sure you can do everything with positive energy.
43 years back, when I was young, I was confused. Fortunately, I belonged to the generation who saw days without computer, internet, and connectivity. I have seen best of both the worlds. The difference I see between these two times is lots of opportunities. If you don’t share with anybody, I will tell you a secret.
Let’s get back to our time. The person sitting next to me, Pawan and me were discussing our time. There is enough demand in Nepal itself, enough to live. This is what we are sharing. But we need good people, capable of dragging the country to a newer height with the confidence and dedication upon your work. My Golden Mantra that I follow is if you give 100% you will get 99%. But if you give 99%, you will get 1%. Therefore, give your best, don’t compromise and do your work yourselves. Be independent!
Mr.Pawan Golyan, Chairman of Golyan Group
I want to arise a question to you all. Do you want to be a job holder or an entrepreneur?
If you ask me, you guys are fit to be an entrepreneur. Nepal needs young people to be an entrepreneur, not a job seeker. Of course, everyone cannot be an entrepreneur but whoever wants to become can contact Directors from Glocal, and through them, you can approach me. I will show you the way to be an entrepreneur. I can give you the knowledge what you need. Another thing is you need Finance. I can get you loan 10 lakhs without any security. As a young entrepreneur, you are authorized to get you the money for business purpose that has to be invested. The third is the market. We can help you with any other ideas in every aspect.
Likewise, if you are seeking a job, don’t listen to your parents. Listen to your heart. This is my greatest advice to you all. Whatever you enjoy, being in that field increases the chances of your success i.e. 10 times more successful than in the field that don’t interest you. Therefore, choose the field wisely, and give your 100% to be a successful employee. There are lots of requirements which are not been fulfilled in the Human Resource Department. We are not getting skilled people in the present context. So, you need to take training on the area you wish to work, rather than just passing and getting enrolled in the job market. We, from the corporate sector, are working hard to get skilled people. We are investing a lot of money to get the right people which has become a problem. Technical people are lacking in every field. Therefore, you need to specifically take the training in any sector you want to work and become qualified for the job.
Dr.Kusmakar Bhatta, Director of CTEVT
Well, I belong to CTEVT, Centre for Technical Education and Vocational Training. Especially, our business if for Skill Development. Looking at the scenario, we have skill gaps in Nepal on one side, and skill mismatch on the other side. For the skills, first of all, we need to value the skills, the value of work is the most necessary. If we see in the industry sector, we see a shortage of skilled laborers. And next side, many youths go to other countries for foreign employment, and the trend is 1300 Nepalese people go foreign country per day in search of work. So, the gap is seen here. Therefore, an individual must understand what kind of job they need. In rural places, the job tendency is low. All the youth are migrated towards urban for better job opportunities. So, there are opportunities in various areas like agricultural, technical field etc. In an urban area, the skill gap arises as we don’t get manpower for the construction sector, machinery sectors and so on. We need to import employees from other countries. So, if we value our skills, we have many more opportunities.
In the case of CTEVT, we provide 3 different layers of training and we aggregate them. In the diploma level, there are four different sectors- Health, Tourism& Hospitality and Construction and Agriculture sector. We produce skilled human resource in technical education. And also, we provide vocational training on 190 different occupations like machines, carpenter, furniture making, beautician, tailoring, driving, garment workers, and so on. So, here the training is not based on Academic and Industrial collaboration, as academia has no content to industry exposure. Value skills to increase skilled human resource in the labour market.
Moderator: What kind of training programs are being taken consideration by your business and how much importance would you attribute when you locate an applicant’s CV? How much importance are the skills compared to the education, the degree or percentage the person has and the technical knowledge?
Mr.Pawan Golyan: Personally, for me, nowadays the CVs are shortlisted by the Human Resource department. But the degree doesn’t mean anything to me. More important for me is the skills you got. If you are coming from marketing, how presentable you are, how you can sell yourself to me. That is the most important thing.
Two people two shoe manufacturers story I will share. One brand was called Bali, and another was another brand. When they reached the island, they found nobody was wearing shoe. The man from the other brand messaged his company saying I have no work here as there is no potential market here, so I will return.
But on the other hand, the brand Bali’s representative asked for a few more helping hands because he explained the same market as an opportunity. This is how we can do the things right, understanding your potential, through your calculations. This case can be executed in either sector as well. But the main thing is how confident you are and how you are going to enjoy the job.
But nowadays, education background also makes a difference. But mark sheet is just a mark sheet and never underline yourself if you got low scores. It is not going to matter as our education system is different. You need to do homework before entering the job market. Every job has a profile. So, get trained before going to any jobs.
Mr.Anil Thaman: A question was raised to the Audience- “How many of you feel you will be successful working here in Nepal only?
In my profession, I am into events. And the biggest rule in my business is there is no rule. You have to decide on the spot. What I look at and what my fellow panelist looks at is somebody who can deliver with passion, enthusiasm and confidence, Please remember soft skills make you a better person. You should be different, think out of the box, and take the risk and fail. Because unless you don’t fail, you can never succeed. And you only fail if you think out of the box. That’s ok because not everybody knows your story. I have realized that success and failures are just cousin brothers. We were successful during the South Asian Games due to our dedication. Small sentence but makes lots of difference- Have the ability in yourself. Anybody will firstly see your attitude, your behaviours. Degrees, yes, they matter, but the interest while working if you are presentable or not matters the most. Also, your dedication, enthusiasm, confidence, communication capacity, interaction ability, etc. are also important. I will give a priority to soft skills. With Hard Skills only, you may not succeed as it is presentable only due to soft skills.
Moderator: CTEVT has lots of training being offered, more vocational nature, most skills, soft skills training, and technical education and so on. Yet training is not linked with industries and the private sector. I think that is a very important point to come back to. So I ask Mr.Bhatta to go into that, what are some of the opportunities linked with industries and what is it between the public and private sector that we will be looking of for making that linkage with both sectors and what should be changed within the public sector?
Mr.Kushmakar Bhatta: I have already mentioned that the workforce is required in industry and industry measures the skills in industry-standard, not a certificate. That’s why industry exposure in any skills are important. And now in Nepal, we are practising that as well in terms of apprentices, in skill training we are applying apprentice program which is an industry and academic collaboration. Sometimes, they are taught in institutions and they go to industry for internship and experience for work exposure. This has got a good improvement. We especially collaborate in the Hospitality sector, in the kitchen sector like cook. They firstly get knowledge and get exposed to real working environment. After that, within their training period, they are already employed. So, this is what we are practising.
Skill, Knowledge and Attitude are the three keys that should go together to ensure good employment. These three keys are interrelated. We should be flexible in Skills and employment.
We have expanded 532 new schools’ technical schools from TSLC to diploma level institutions all over the country. But youth are not willing to serve at the rural areas which are a major hindrance to the development of that place. We should have some commitment to work for the country. In terms of the industrial sector, multiple skills are required. Informal workers and technicians are more important in the labour market and they are given more salary. There are lots of opportunities in the market, we need to strengthen our skills and we should initiate something productive.
Question 1:CTEVT is in the phase of providing skills and jobs important for today, like construction, automobiles, vocational training and so on. But what are you planning for the Skills of Jobs for tomorrow like Artificial Intelligence and Data Science?
Dr.Kushmakar Bhatta: A survey was done as a post-disaster main assessment report, it showed there is a huge demand for skilled manpower in Nepal. Our program is to provide training and it has been expanded up to the rural areas and we have expanded 1085 training institutions in every nook and corner of the country. The Vocational training is free of cost, and we need commitment of participants to do something as per they are trained. Therefore, if you come up with the group and ask for any pieces of training, we can provide that. There are 190 occupations where we can provide training free of cost. We link the trained human resource with different institutions, like financial, social institutions, governmental programs and so on. Right now, the government has provided youth fund for employment. Base on the skill test, they can utilize these funds with low interest. After training, governments can provide these funds. So, recently plan is to link with all the three sectors and collaborating with the corporate sector so the employment opportunities can be easily accessible to the trained human resource.
Question 2: What are the plans and policies for the betterment of technical education in Nepal? Most of the times, we can see many job applications. They ask for certain degrees. Their CEO gives a speech like they don’t need a degree. What do you have to say about this?
Mr.Pawan Golyan: The way I understood this question is you are talking about the degree? Degree is something that you need to mention relevant to the job you are applying to. But as I told earlier, how you give your interview is also very important. You don’t get rejected only by the degree. HR Department shortlists the candidate, however, a degree is not the only criteria. I have heard many of you have opened a Startup Company. You can always find me for any queries. For those who are pursuing an MBA, choose your field and take your training side by side, to save time and to be capable of getting job. You can intern in any of the private organizations. If you are interested in Golyan internship also, you can apply. Those who has completed an MBA also can take certain training and choose your field wisely whether you want to be a job holder or an entrepreneur. We would love to see enthusiastic people coming into the workforce.
In Golyan, we have 4500 workforces, 1800 are ladies and remaining are men. Everybody is a Nepali citizen and for the last 25 years, we never had a strike. That means corporate culture is very important and you should choose the field which makes you happy and you should be able to take ownership. Youth is the one who can make future for Nepal. So, work for Nepal.
There are plenty of opportunities in Nepal, to find interesting work. Many business and private sector are looking for skilled human resource to join them in many different fields today. There are some challenges to make that linkage. We also discussed skill gaps and also got suggestions to increase our soft skills, not only focus on our hard skills.