In the past 10 months, about 1 lakh people lost their jobs in the automobile industry in India. The reason is that automobiles are not selling well. Only 18 lakh vehicles were sold in the whole of India in August, 2019. But, during the same month last year, the number was over 24 lakhs. The sales of cars came down by 31%, small or light commercial vehicles by 28%, and two-wheelers by 22%.
In India, automobile manufacturing is a big industry. It employs some 3 crore people, directly or indirectly. As vehicles are not selling well, manufacturers are bringing down the production. When production falls down, job cuts are inevitable.
However, if the global trends are anything to go by, the automobile industry is yet to see the real disruption of jobs. It is Electric Vehicles. Automobile Component Manufacturers Association warns that about 1.5 million jobs will be lost in the near future. By design, EVs have fewer parts. While there are more than 1,000 parts in a traditional car, an electric car consists of just about 200 parts. Further, making those parts were not going to require much labour. This can explain the logic behind the fear of job losses.
But according to the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, India can create 1 crore direct EV jobs when the adoption of E-mobility will reach 30%. The new jobs will be in manufacturing, services, and infrastructure. The jobs will go where the relevant skills are.
Skill Councils are already assessing the workforce demand from the electric mobility industry. The National Skill Development Corporation is set to approve EV-specific occupational standards being developed by industry bodies.
The onus is now on the students and professionals to invest in continual education. CADD Centre has launched full-fledged training programs to create the talent pool for many supervisory, technical and project management roles in the EV industry.
The programs are the best solutions for the existing employees in the traditional automobile sector to reskill and upskill - while the training will make the freshers competent and employable in the sunrise EV industry in India, and elsewhere.