“Skill development programmes”- 26 May 2015.

Whenever you visit Dubai you will never fail to admire the leadership for their vision and their determined will to implement their goals. Having a vision in the first place and then setting clear goals to transform the wilderness into a beautiful oasis speaks of many things. It speaks of being serious about translating whatever you think into practice. They do not seem to be stopping at any point of time you would think. Each time I visit it, it has expanded itself in a thoughtful manner. There is an abundance of everything with very good quality and affordable too for the people. What else can people ask for? A God given desert has been transformed into a wonderful city with canals, water bodies, green-parks, amazing road network for fast communication and enough opportunities for growth. But this article is not about Dubai. It’s about the human will and it’s about the continuous humungous efforts for self improvement. It’s about the emphasis on skill development.

A news item caught my eye last week that Sharjah had planned to impart skills to all cab/taxi drivers in the city in a two months training period. They would be taught communication skills and besides being polite and friendly to tourists they would also be informed about various tourist attractions to visit in the UAE. They would become a source of information about hotels, shopping malls, and other information anyone needs on coming to a new place for visits or to stay there. This programme of course would be compulsory and free of cost for the all the drivers. The government believes in investing for such skills for tourism is a good industry here.

Many industries who believe that human resource is an asset invest seriously in continuous skill development programmes. Besides the technical skills the behavioural skills are also given importance though not to the level it should be. It depends upon the vision of the leadership and also on their will to spend in such programmes. We also know from experience that during bad times or recession the first casualty is the HRD department as the costs are cut first there.

Skill development is required in all sectors whether it is industry, health sector, educational sector or any other service sector. As a part of the health community whether it is physical health or mental health there are compulsory continuous medical education programs. The advancement in knowledge is rapid as the world grows and expands in all spheres. There is continuous research going on and professionals need to keep abreast of it. So authorities and institutions who control the fraternity insist on upgrading knowledge. Many or majority of professionals find it a pain to attend the workshops on holidays to gain their brownie points but they are forced to do it if they need renewal of licenses. So it has been enforced and that is the way to get it done.

In organisations where usage of English language is important we find people from smaller towns and villages struggling to pick up the language. Those who do not work on it and pick it up will suffer in terms of promotion and raises in status. It might hamper their functioning as well as they go about themselves with low confidence and unable to communicate effectively. And we know in certain parts of India the language is a severe form of handicap and people find themselves traumatised. Many professionals need this specific input and do not know where to go for it as there is a huge gap in terms of need and supply.


Skill development on the job is an imperative. And everyone must take it seriously. You cannot afford to be lazy and you cannot afford to grumble about it. Whether it is done at the level of the government or at the level of the specific work area/industry or it is taken up by the individual himself, it has to be done. You cannot play a blame game and pass the buck for that helps no one. It is heartening to hear India’s Prime Minister Modi give tremendous emphasis on ‘Skill India’ as he likes to term it. We have been talking about it for years so it is nice to hear the present government giving it the right push. At least we are now talking about it in open forums. But this is only the beginning as we have miles to go in implementing the vision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *