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Gig Economy's Impact On Tech Layoffs And Skill Development
Shilpa Jain, CEO and founder of BeGig believes that the diversity of gig work not only prevents monotony but also serves as a pivotal factor in transforming people's career experiences
The gig economy has become an undeniable force in the modern job market, reshaping the way employees work, access opportunities and develop skills. In this exclusive interview with Shilpa Jain, CEO and founder of BeGig, she sheds light upon the influence of the gig economy on addressing layoffs in the tech industry and its role in shaping the evolving job landscape. With a spotlight on digital platforms, skill development and the gig-to-full-time transition, Jain provides insights into how this dynamic work model is not only surviving but thriving in an era of automation and AI predictions.
The gig economy has seen substantial growth in recent years. How do you view the role of the gig economy in addressing the challenges posed by layoffs in the tech industry and the evolving job landscape?
Layoffs have surged as organisations strategically prioritise cost optimisation and automation over traditional manpower. The digital revolution has disrupted conventional job roles, prompting IT firms to reassess the market value of their workforce. Automation now drives efficiency, freeing up human resources for creative and non-routine tasks. Interestingly, this automation wave has also opened up new opportunities for specialised skill sets, giving techpreneurs with expertise in various tech stacks a significant advantage. Embracing the gig working model, techpreneurs have contributed to growth and innovation in diverse ways, far beyond what a conventional 9-to-5 setup would allow. This is also advantageous for companies as it doesn’t increase the overhead cost while impacting the efficiency of teams significantly.
How are digital platforms and apps enabling freelancers and gig workers to access suitable work opportunities across various sectors?
At the heart of every successful product lies the fundamental objective of enhancing user experiences, ensuring seamless and hassle-free actions. Digital platforms tailor makes procedures to ensure quality talent pools and continued work opportunities.
In India, freelancing represents a relatively recent and promising work model brimming with untapped advantages. However, to fully realise these benefits, it is essential to establish well-structured procedures from matching suitable experts with projects to delivering a tech solution.
Platforms such as ours enable the best collaboration in many ways. Our platform enables seamless collaboration and we prioritise the readiness of our tech professionals. They undergo rigorous onboarding, including role-specific assessments and soft skills evaluations. This ensures they meet our clients' needs effectively.
Companies gain from remote tech resources with reduced costs and increased project efficiency. There's flexibility, no long-term commitment and no need for extensive training. Access to specialised talent is a significant advantage for project-specific skills.
Given the prediction of tech job loss due to automation and AI, how can organisations, governments and educational institutions collaborate to address challenges faced in terms of access to skill development opportunities and continuous learning?
It should be a comprehensive approach involving collaboration between government and private entities. Following are ways in which organisations, governments and educational institutions can collaborate to address challenges faced in terms of access to skill development opportunities and continuous learning.
Identify Future Skills, Reskilling and Upskilling: We should begin by collectively identifying future job market skills through collaboration among industry experts, government policymakers, and educators. Governments should invest in reskilling and upskilling, offering subsidies and incentives for workers and employers to participate in training programmes to facilitate transitions into new roles.
Online Learning Platforms: Educational institutions can partner with tech companies to develop and offer online courses that are accessible to a wide range of learners. These platforms can provide flexible, affordable and personalised learning opportunities.
Public-Private Partnerships: Establish partnerships between governments, educational institutions and private sector organisations to jointly fund and develop training programmes. Public-private partnerships can help align educational offerings with industry needs.
Inclusivity and Equity: Ensure that access to skill development opportunities is equitable and inclusive, regardless of socioeconomic background or geographic location. This may involve subsidies for low-income individuals or programmes targeted at underserved communities.
Global Collaboration: Given the global nature of technology and the job market, collaboration between countries can also be beneficial. Sharing best practices and collaborating on cross-border training initiatives can help address the challenges on a broader scale.
How is the gig economy influencing traditional employment models? Are there instances where gig workers are being hired full-time based on their performance in freelance roles?
The gig economy has revolutionised traditional employment paradigms by introducing flexible working hours and remote work arrangements, granting individuals the ability to tailor their work schedules to suit their lifestyles.
Within this gig landscape, workers engage in a wide spectrum of projects spanning various industries. This diversity of work not only prevents monotony but also serves as a pivotal factor in transforming people's career experiences. Simultaneously managing multiple projects has become a common practice, allowing individuals to maximise their income and continuously hone their skills.
The ease of finding gig workers has also significantly improved, thanks to platforms like ours, where the turnaround time for connecting with skilled professionals is approximately 48 hours. Considering the substantial cost advantages this model offers employers, it creates a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Regarding gig workers themselves, yes there are instances where they are offered full time roles. However, the focus more on the value creation part of projects and make decisions accordingly. The gig economy resonates with the freedom-driven mindset of many young professionals, providing them with the autonomy and variety they desire in their careers. Consequently, this approach has given rise to a burgeoning community of micro-entrepreneurs who leverage their diverse skill sets and flexible work arrangements to pursue a dynamic and fulfilling professional life.
What trends and innovations are likely to shape the way skills are acquired, utilised and developed through gig work?
With the talent marketplace being ever dynamic, following are trends and innovation we see are likely to shape the way skills are acquired, utilised and developed through gig work.
Online Learning Platforms: The continued growth of online learning platforms will provide gig workers with convenient access to a wide range of courses and skill development opportunities. These platforms will offer flexible and tailored learning experiences to help gig workers acquire and improve their skills.
Skill Marketplaces and pays: Skill marketplaces will connect gig workers with employers or clients based on their specific skills and project requirements. These platforms will enable gig workers to showcase their abilities and find opportunities that match their expertise. Gig workers may increasingly be compensated based on their skill set and the value they bring to projects, rather than traditional hourly or fixed-rate payment structures.
Remote Collaboration Tools: As remote work becomes more common, gig workers will rely on advanced collaboration tools to connect with clients and colleagues, facilitating skill sharing and development across geographical boundaries.
Global Gig Platforms: Gig workers will have access to global gig platforms that allow them to work with clients and employers from around the world, expanding their opportunities for skill acquisition and utilisation.
Regulatory Frameworks: Governments may implement regulations to ensure gig workers have access to training and skill development opportunities, fostering a more skilled and adaptable workforce.
Entrepreneurial Skills: Gig workers may increasingly develop entrepreneurial skills to manage their own careers, negotiate contracts, and market their services effectively.