November 2014

Stepping up on skilling

The Tata group’s skilling programmes in Europe aim to support the region’s economic recovery by narrowing the skills deficit

As Europe treads the path to economic recovery, Tata companies in the region are working towards ensuring that there is no shortage of the skills required to enable and sustain the recovery. With the increased levels of output in the manufacturing sector there is an increased demand for skilled workers, particularly those with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. A Confederation of British Industries (CBI) Skills Survey in 2013 reported that 39 percent firms recruit STEM qualified personnel, but are struggling to find qualified people. Another survey by management consultants McKinsey and the CBI reveals that between 40 percent and 29 percent of businesses in Europe report a shortage of skilled labour.

Realising the importance of skills development, not only as a means of securing its own talent pipeline but also as a means of benefiting the wider community, Tata companies have adopted a three-step plan that includes training employees, developing the talent pipeline and supporting communities.

Training employees
Tata companies in Europe have introduced numerous measures to ensure that their employees have access to professional and technical expertise to support their career aspirations. Over the last year, the group has funded 125,000 training courses and more than 100 degree courses. Programmes such as Tata Steel’s ‘Steel Academy’ and Taj Hotels ‘Taj MIUNIVERSITY’ ensure that employees have opportunities to develop their professional and technical expertise. The Academy offers a mix of practical, e-learning and academic training while Taj MIUNIVERSITY, an e-learning platform, offers employees a choice of training courses, including the option of gaining qualifications from Cornell University. Tata Global Beverages offers management workshops to over 80 selected employees each year, helping to train the next generation of leaders.

Developing the talent pipeline
Opportunities provided by Tata companies are not solely inward looking — last year, the companies offered 150 apprenticeships and over 750 internships to young people across the UK. One such initiative is Tata Motors European Technical Centre’s partnership with Warwick Manufacturing Group Academy for Young Engineers. This partnership has developed a recruitment and training programme that enables the company to source and strengthen automotive talent in the UK.

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) works with its customers to deliver a successful graduate programme. Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) graduate programme, the highest ranked programme offered by an automotive manufacturer, has seen the recruitment of approximately 1,000 graduates over the last three years. Tata Technologies offers the Ready Education Programme, a 12-month internship programme that trains more than 200 promising engineers from six institutes in India and the UK. Furthermore, Tata companies offer over 400 university scholarships, while more than 300 students benefit from international educational programmes in India.

Supporting the community
Tata companies in Europe organise more than 50 community programmes that reach out to hundreds of thousands of youngsters, promoting healthy living and sporting activities and creating an interest in STEM subjects. One such inspiring initiative is the Jaguar Maths in Motion Challenge for Schools. The annual mathematics competition for children aged nine and above uses software that simulates the setting up of a race car. The participants programme a virtual car by using maths to measure and analyse a track and tune their car to driving conditions. Based on the car figures and race driver attributes, the computer races the developed data. In the process of developing the car, the students encounter a variety of mathematical and practical tasks that demonstrate the tangible application of maths in an exciting and fun manner.

TCS’ IT Futures seeks to encourage youngsters to develop an interest in technology creation by teaching them how to design and create popular software. Tata Steel’s Industrial Cadets programme raises awareness about the steel industry and aims to inspire youngsters in their early teens to consider taking up careers in engineering and manufacturing.

With each investment in skilling activities, Tata companies in Europe are helping youngsters acquire skills that can impact the future of their country’s economy.

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Read more about Tata skilling initiatives around the world

Overview: How to catch a fish
Skilling initiatives from the Tata group aim to help youngsters around the world become employable
Striving to empower
Tata Strive, the group-wide, group-led skilling initiative, aims to set up a replicable model for training and skill development
Life skills for India
Tata companies are training thousands of youth across India in skill sets that make them employable and productive
STEM talent for America
Tata companies are addressing the deficit in science, technology, engineering and math skills in America to build a much-needed talent pool
Grooming young talent in China
The TCS China University steps up to offer soft skills training in partnership with 25 universities across the country
Skilling up in Singapore
NatSteel's upskilling initiatives are tied to the Singapore government's aim of building a more competitive workforce
IT's raining skills in Africa
In South Africa, TCS is empowering local talent by training students in a wide range of IT skills