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5G rollout may worsen skills crunch in technology sector


NEW DELHI : Indian companies preparing to take advantage of the 5G rollout may find it difficult to get skilled individuals who can help build applications for the next-generation services.

According to hiring firms, Teamlease and NLB Business Services, 5G rollout could increase the jobs crunch in the technology sector, with rising demand for skilled individuals, including engineers, who are already in short supply.

A May 2022 report by the Telecom Sector Skills Council (TSSC) estimates that India will need 22 million skilled manpower by 2025 to reap the benefits of 5G, but the demand-supply gap stands at 28%. As per Sachin Alug, chief executive, NLB Services, demand for skills such as radio frequency engineers, 5G open radio access network architecture specialists, user experience design professionals and artificial intelligence, machine learning and augmented reality professionals are on the rise. “Many employers are laying off staff with unessential skillsets. Tech will evolve , and 5G will soon aggravate the skill shortage further,” he said.

Jobs platform Indeed has witnessed a 34% rise in job postings for telecom and 5G sectors in the 12 months through September. Demand for telecom engineers grew 16% between August and September 2022.

The Monster Employment Index for September, released by job site Monster.com, showed similar trends. Telecom hiring was up 13% as firms launched digital services across cities, expanded data centre capabilities, and hired for specialized roles, it said.

Shortage of security professionals may also rise. “There was a talent mismatch of 25% for security between August 2019 and August 2022. 5G will lead to a major spike in jobs for design security systems and strengthen network architectures,” said Saumitra Chand, career expert, Indeed India.

Companies will also need people to ramp up sales. Mayur Taday, chief business officer, TeamLease Services, said more professionals will be required for pan-India broadband penetration, resulting in more demand for sales, installation and wiring technicians.

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