TSSC – Strengthening the Value Chain of Talent in India

Arvind Bali

Focus on Skill Development | TelecomDrive.com

Telecom Sector Skill Council or TSSC has become a backbone for enabling talented workforce for India’s telecoms segment. With its unique focus on skill development, TSSC is enabling talent with the latest technological knowledge in urban as well as rural parts of the country.

Catering to the current needs of the industry, TSSC courses cover the latest knowledge necessary for an individual to excel in any segment within the telecom sphere.

Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council interacts with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about TSSC’s focus on enabling talented workforce for the telecom industry.

The need for a ready talent workforce is the need of the hour, with 5G network shaping up in India. How is TSSC contributing to this rising demand?

TSSC has been actively working with various stakeholders of the telecom and skill development ecosystem to ascertain the needs of the country at large. When it comes to telecom, we have aggregated the demand from the industry for effective rollout of key initiatives and technologies like 5G, Smart Cities, PLI, EMC 2.0, ESDM, Bharat Net and PM Wani.


Additionally, we have been working with the Department of Telecommunications in a series of round-table discussions where government is also trying to understand the roadmap for 5G. We plan to setup centres of excellence in a hub and spoke model to cover all major cities of India and create smaller more accessible skill labs for deeper penetration of our courses. Lastly, we have moved our offerings on a digital platform to create an equality of opportunity for youth in both urban and rural markets.

What are the different job opportunities shaping up in the telecom sector with the rollout of 5G taking a peek in the coming year?

Telecom offers many opportunities for budding young technical and non-technical candidates. The sector comprises of four sub-segments namely services, network management, passive infrastructure. Retail jobs are also included in telecom. These refer to the store promoters, sales representatives, and field sales executives. New roles are constantly being created with advancements in technology.

5G creates many new jobs by virtue of new components, communication standards and network frameworks. Apart from this, other futuristic technologies linked to 5G offer multitudes of use-cases for enterprise, industrial and commercial usage. This includes drones, ML/AI, IoT, M2M communications, cloud computing, blockchain and robotic process automation. The data being generated by these technologies is also leading to the proliferation of data science and big data job roles. 

What are the key areas where India will witness a rise in demand of skilled workforce with the 5G technology in India.

Mandates like 5G, PLI, Bharat Net, PM Wani will generate the most jobs. Moreover, use cases of 5G like drone technology, ML/AI, data science, M2M communications will also create new verticals and business cases. Currently, the top job positions in telecom include network engineers, machine learning engineer, site maintenance technicians, and data scientist.

Digital assistants have undergone a revolution thanks to deep learning. Network operation and maintenance has the high employed talent. Network operations and maintenance and project engineering has a high proportion of women’s talent compared to other job roles. Project engineering holds the highest median base pay, followed by network security and data handling- network managed services among the occupation levels. Project engineering and communication electronics hold the highest pay for frontline workforce talent. 

With the adoption of new-age technologies in Industries, how do you think the demand-supply gap can be narrowed, as India has a huge potential workforce ready to be trained or employed?

The most important aspect is to strengthen the value chain of talent offerings in the country. There is a mismatch in the talent coming out of universities and training centres which leads to many intermediary finishing/bridging courses to make a candidate employable. This can be mitigated through a cohesive collaboration between industry and academia. At the candidate front, providing holistic courses which offer both hard and soft skills training with practical training needs to be ensured.

At Telecom SSC, we have created a model for a network of excellence where there is deep penetration in both urban and rural markets. Our courses cover the latest knowledge necessary for an individual to excel in any segment of telecom . We dovetail out offline courses with online content for maximum knowledge transfer. Our on-job-training is conducted with leading industry bodies to ensure real-world applicability of the relevant skillset.

What are the new courses and infrastructure being introduced by TSSC, being a major industry body for skilling in this sector?

We are working in line with new government and industry objectives. We have launched courses on semiconductors, satellite communications, network surveillance, web development, embedded engineering, in-building solutions and much more. These courses will supplement our recently launched 5G courses. Additionally, we offer courses in drone technology, cybersecurity, data science, among others. The objective is to elevate the base-level of youth in telecom job roles. We need to offer aspirational jobs to ensure maximum participation across all segments of society. Telecom SSC is actively working to create skilled workforce on par with global standards.

The interview is published in the January 2023 edition of Disruptive Telecoms.