I’ve been in India for a week talking about a number of issues, including skills development. India is making a big investment in Sector Skills Councils to try to work with industry to identify and fill skills gaps. Unfortunately, this dialogue is not proving easy. Industry is not used to being consulted and to participating and is wary of government agencies asking for ‘partnership’.
There is a general lesson here – building trust takes time – and takes mutual respect. Without it, however, true partnership is not possible. So, as well as investing the money, the Indian government and its skills agencies need to invest time in building that trust. The exercise of transforming the India skills landscape might take a little longer than hoped for, but it will be built on more secure foundations.