Business Standard

Karnataka minister tries balancing act between IT industry & laid-off staff

Priyank Kharge says he also needs to consider employers' side of story, calls for re-skilling staff

Ayan Pramanik  |  Bengaluru 

Office, IT firms

IT Minister Priyank Kharge has been making attempts to work out a solution acceptable to both, employers in the IT services space, and affected employees who have complained of layoffs by these companies.

The Bengaluru chapter of the (FITE) met with the minister last week to seek his intervention. The forum, set up originally in by former IT sevices employees, had demanded an inquiry into the overall effects of the layoffs as well as how it affected women employees.

“I cannot make a rule or a policy only for one stakeholder. So I have to speak with the employers and try to understand their side of the story as well and see how we can bridge the gap between the employers and employees,” said Kharge on Wednesday.

The minister said he would approach representatives of the IT services industry, which employs tens of thousands of people.

“I have offered legal help (to the members of IT employees’ forums) to understand the ecosystem better,” Kharge added.

Junior-level jobs in the IT industry are giving way to automation, as the industry goes digital. As a consequence, people with experience in traditional IT services are becoming redundant.

The minister also said that re-skilling of employees is crucial, with the emergence of new technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The State Government is also keen to work on these areas, and is working on making Bengaluru Karnataka's skill capital as well.

“We are coming up with many centres of excellence in emerging technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning and are very keen on becoming the skill capital as well for emerging technologies,” Kharge confirmed.

First Published: Wed, June 14 2017. 14:12 IST