India high-tech industry out of workers

Posted on April 8, 2007 

India high-tech industry out of workers

At the heart of the sprawling corporate campus, in a hilltop building overlooking the immaculately shorn lawns, the sports fields and the hypermodern theater complex, young engineers crowd into a classroom. They are India’s best and brightest, with stellar grades that launched them into a high-tech industry growing at more than 25 percent annually. And their topic of the day? Basic telephone skills.

“Hello?” one young man says nervously, holding his hand to his ear like a phone. “Hello? I’d like to leave a message for Number 17. Can I do that?”

Nearly two decades into India’s phenomenal growth as an international center for high technology, the industry has a problem: It’s running out of workers.

There may be a lot of potential — Indian schools churn out 400,000 new engineers, the core of the high-tech industry, every year — but as few as 100,000 are actually ready to join the job world, experts say.

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