Only 2 per cent of the frontline workforce from tier-one cities enrolled in upskilling courses last year, showcasing a lack of popularity for such courses, revealed Rohit Gupta, co-founder and COO of College Vidya, an online education marketplace. 

India had an estimated 6.6 million frontline workers in 2022–23, according to a study. Moreover, due to global macroeconomic challenges, the number of new frontline jobs in India declined by 17.5 per cent in FY23. 

Although enrollment remains modest, it has improved from 1 per cent in 2022 to less than 0.7 per cent in 2021. Moreover, Gupta anticipates a more aggressive shift towards upskilling for frontline workers, recognizing their immediate impact. 

However, a major chunk of frontline workers miss getting the desired skill-based training, which leads them to quit their jobs. McKinsey’s report indicates that 50 per cent of frontline workers contemplate leaving due to a lack of skill-based training. 

“The low enrollment rate for online upskilling courses can be attributed to several factors, such as limited information about the courses and their potential impact on career growth, which can deter potential candidates from enrolling due to time constraints,” noted Gupta.  

Cost of courses

In addition, the cost of upskilling courses can be a significant deterrent for some individuals. While there are options such as EMI that have proven to be beneficial, many people may not have the financial resources to invest in expensive courses, limiting their ability to enroll and upgrade their skills.  

According to Gupta, improving awareness about the benefits of upskilling, offering flexible learning options, and providing affordable payment options like EMI can help mitigate the challenges of low enrollment rates for upskilling courses.

In terms of cost, the average cost of these courses, spanning over 2 to 3 years, can go up to ₹1.5 lakh. Notably, cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and Mumbai show increased interest in upskilling, especially in management, AI, and data science.