People Supply Chain Innovation: Interpreting the ROI in Apprenticeships

A CXO Roundtable by TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship

TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, India’s premier privately-owned degree apprenticeship program from TeamLease Services, held a distinguished event titled ‘People Supply Chain Innovation: Interpreting the ROI in Apprenticeships’ at ITC Narmada, Ahmedabad.

Gujarat has emerged as a top destination for both domestic and international investments, ranking among India’s top three in Manufacturing FDI. The state boasts a strong labour force participation rate, lower unemployment and an entrepreneurial spirit, positioning it well for economic growth and job creation. However, organisations face challenges in talent acquisition, engagement and development due to technological disruptions and demographic diversity.

TeamLease’s event aimed to tackle critical challenges in talent acquisition and explore the ROI in Apprenticeships and other work-based learning programs.

Strategies discussed at the event included developing internal talent, implementing Managed Training Services (MTS) and Hire-Train-Deploy (HTD) models and outsourcing apprenticeship management.  The discussion also covered the ROI in Apprenticeships – a 3X return in three years, reducing talent acquisition costs by 50% and boosting business productivity by 20-25%.

Additionally, the discussion also highlighted the need for structural reforms to accelerate skill development in India, emphasising the symbiotic relationship between functional skills and theoretical knowledge. It was underscored that skill development and education should not be treated as distinct entities. Instead, a concerted effort to enhance youth employability through education-embedded work-based programs was deemed imperative, with the potential to significantly bolster human capital.

Specific measures, such as the tripartite agreement model involving academia, industry and youth as key stakeholders and providing lifelong learning opportunities for upskilling and reskilling through apprenticeships, were thoroughly discussed. Additionally, there was a detailed examination of education pathways that mirror extended apprenticeship programs for bridging skill gaps and preparing a workforce for the future.

A.R. Ramesh, CEO of TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, emphasised the urgent need to address the challenges in creating a robust talent pipeline. With India expected to contribute a quarter of the world’s new workforce in the next decade and AI set to disrupt millions of jobs, developing a skilled workforce is crucial. Ramesh noted that although Gujarat is a top performer in FDI and economic indicators, it needs to increase its apprenticeship adoption to build a productive talent pool. He also discussed the potential of Managed Training Services and Hire-Train-Deploy models to enhance the productivity of apprentices and fresh recruits.

Sumit Kumar, Chief Strategy Officer at TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, highlighted the significant growth and investments in Gujarat’s key sectors. The state has seen a 700% increase in EV demand over the last three years and a substantial expansion in charging infrastructure. Gujarat accounts for nearly 30% of India’s pharma exports and is set to manufacture India’s first semiconductor chip this year. However, talent availability and productivity have become significant challenges. He emphasised the need to scale up apprenticeship adoption, as it offers a proven pathway to creating a sustainable talent supply chain.

Dhriti Prasanna Mahanta, Business Head and Vice President at TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, emphasised the pivotal role of apprenticeships in augmenting organisational efficiency and talent management. By refining talent acquisition and retention processes, these programs yield substantial cost savings, signifying a strategic shift towards nurturing internal talent. The shifting prominence of specific industries in Gujarat is evidenced by the changing proportions of apprentices engaged in each industry. Dhriti also added that expanding apprenticeship programs in Gujarat is crucial for cost savings, increased productivity, scaling up the skilling ecosystem to drive industry growth and nurturing the state’s entrepreneurial spirit.

About TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship

TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship is India’s first and largest Degree Apprenticeship programme offered through a public-private partnership with the TeamLease Skills University (TLSU), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, CII and NSDC. The company has hired about 700,000 apprentices with 1000+ employers. About 98% of these apprentices have transitioned into formal employment and almost 40% have been employed in the same organisation. Through its Degree Apprenticeship Program, TeamLease focuses on enhancing the employability quotient of the youth of our country and bridging the skill deficit. TeamLease Skills University (TLSU) is India’s first vocational skills university and India’s first NAAC certified University that offers employment-oriented multi-level programs.

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