Photo: Tata

Tata Consultancy Services – InsighT

By Vicky Dodman, International Programme Manager, Business in the Community

Tata Consultancy Services – InsighT

Tata Consultancy Services has implemented InsighT, an IT camp which mentors students in India to improve their IT proficiency and employment prospects and help plug the IT skills gap.

Social impacts

  • Since inception, 6,600 students have benefited from InsighT, improving the employability chances of students as a way out of poverty and creating an IT literate workforce to meet the global IT skills shortage.
  • To date, 100% of students that have taken up the programme have secured jobs, 58% of which are in the IT industry.
  • Approximately 40,320 volunteering hours have been invested to date, which does not include the additional time employees spend giving one-on-one career advice to students.

Business impacts

Has raised the profile of Tata Consultancy Services as a potential employer and motivated and engaged current employees. Improved the gender balance of their workforce. Women represent approximately 30% of TCS versus the average in India of 22% of the IT workforce (2012). Created a future workforce of skilled, knowledgeable workers.

“I continue to be humbled by the feedback we receive from InsighT students, and impressed by the amount of employees who take part – often devoting their own time to mentor students outside of the programme.”
“There is a saying that if you give a person a fish they eat for a day, but if you teach them to fish, they feed for a lifetime. That is the ethos that underlies InsighT; empowering young people to get out – and stay out – of poverty. I continue to be humbled by the feedback we receive from InsighT students, and impressed by the amount of employees who take part – often devoting their own time to mentor students outside of the programme. We are proud to lead InsighT into the next phase: extending its bounds both within India and internationally.”

– AS Lakshmi,
President, Group Business, TCS

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) wanted to address two key issues in India: Education fails to prepare students for employment; and an IT skills deficit.

India produces tens of thousands of graduates annually, but less than half (47%) are employable or possess the basic skills necessary for any industry role. Meanwhile the global IT skills shortage is pronounced in India where between 2000 and 2013, the sector grew at three to four times the rate of the rest of the world. The IT industry currently employs 10.2 million people in India and contributes 6% of the GDP, but jobs lie unfilled due to the lack of qualified candidates.

InsighT is an IT awareness and empowerment initiative for senior school students (aged 15-17) in India. Created specifically to bridge the gap between education and employment, it is an IT camp in the students’ summer holidays. It delivers a unique blend of technical and life skills, to improve students’ IT proficiency and chances of employment.

InsighT is accessible to all, regardless of financial background or gender, and TCS aims to include a broad spectrum of participants. Currently 85% of students are from working and lower-middle class schools, who typically have limited access to opportunities.

InsighT also gives boys and girls the opportunity to work together. In India most schools are single sex, but the workplace is not. In this way, InsighT is providing another opportunity for young people to experience a taste of the workplace while providing girls with the same opportunities to take part. Currently 52% of our InsighT students are female.

TCS works directly with educational establishments as they believe that academia and industry must actively collaborate to prepare students for the workplace. Students are taught theoretical knowledge in the classroom, but without experiential learning they do not know how to apply it in a real world setting. InsighT addresses this through its case study methodology which uses real problems to engage students.

100% of InsighT graduates are now employed, 58% within the IT industry. The programme is improving the life chances of young people, enhancing the talent pool from which Indian companies recruit, and is helping to address the IT skills shortage.

Editor’s Note:

The Unilever International Award supported by Business Fights Poverty recognises businesses that have positively impacted one or more of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Award is part of Business in the Community’s Responsible Business Awards.

The companies awarded a Big Tick in this category have positively impacted over seven million beneficiaries. These companies are helping to eradicate extreme poverty, promote gender equality, support various aspects of the health agenda, and build global partnerships for development between civil society, business and governments. These programmes demonstrate innovation, scale and the potential to be replicated, highlighting the importance of business as a key enabler of the MDGs.

The case studies profiled in this week’s special on Business Fights Poverty provide more detail about the programmes that achieved a Big Tick and those shortlisted for the top accolade. For more information, click here.

This article was first published on Business In The Community and is reproduced with permission.

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