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Infotech bites: it is not just about filling the skills gap

India produces approximately 400,000 engineers per year and yet, the country’s IT industry faces a shortage of about 500,000 skilled workers, reports Venkatesh Ganesh.
Hindustan Times | By Venkatesh Ganesh, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 20, 2008 11:33 PM IST

India produces approximately 400,000 engineers per year and yet, the country’s information technology (IT) industry faces a shortage of about 500,000 skilled workers and companies such as HCL and NIIT have sensed a big business potential in filling this gap.

Both, HCL and NIIT have entered into tie-ups with global tech majors such as Microsoft, Cisco, HP and EMC to train and certify students on various technology platforms.

Recently, HCL Infosystems, a part of the Shiv Nadar promoted HCL Group that sells and distributes IT products like mobile phones and laptops entered into an alliance with Microsoft to train and certify students on technologies such as .NET and Windows that can be used in hospitals, banks, malls and other places.

The company plans to open 100 training centres that will offer training and certification to 50,000 students on these technologies across India in three years.

Similarly, software education company NIIT plans to set up 100 centres to offer programmes in computer networking and related technologies by 2009.

One of the reasons for the tie-ups is to fill up the talent shortage in the Indian IT industry. As per industry body Nasscom’s estimates, India’s emergence as an outsourcing destination has created the need for about 2.3 million professionals by 2010, based on current estimates, and there is a shortage of 0.5 million skilled workers. The HCL centres will have a mix of those owned by the company and franchises.

The curriculum used will be the Microsoft Official Curriculum that is designed and developed by Microsoft. “The goal of the Microsoft – HCL training initiative is to enhance the employability of students and help the Indian IT industry retain its competitive edge,” said Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems.

Cisco on the other hand has tied up with training majors such as NIIT to expand India’s networking workforce capacity to 360,000 engineers in the next five years, a six fold increase over present employment levels. The tie-up includes establishing partnerships and opening testing facilities.

According to a recent IDC report on global skills, India’s surging economic development will create a demand for 137,000 more networking professionals by 2009.

“Globalisation will continue to transform India’s economy and will require its young workforce to develop skills that are market-driven,” Wim Elfrink, executive vice president, Cisco recently told HT at a Nasscom summit in Mumbai.

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