Look forward to working with new US administration on STEM skills gap: Nasscom

New Delhi

IT industry body Nasscom said it is looking forward to working with the new US administration to find solutions to the STEM skills gap and enable America to be more competitive and create more jobs.

The statement by Nasscom, which represents the over USD 190-billion Indian IT sector, comes after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th US President and Kamala Harris took oath as America’s first woman Vice President on Wednesday.

Nasscom said a key challenge the technology sector faces is the lack of required STEM talent in the US and noted that despite a high degree of overall unemployment in the US, demand for high-tech skills continues to remain robust – endorsing the argument that there are just not enough workers with relevant skills to fill them.

This is highlighted by the high degree of overall unemployment on one hand, and over 7,50,000 plus job vacancy postings in computer occupations as of January 13, 2021, a 20 per cent increase since May-2020, it added.

”The rules announced by the previous administration will worsen this talent gap. Nasscom has been actively engaged with US policymakers on these issues, and we look forward to working together with the new US Administration to find solutions to the STEM skills gap, and enable America to be more competitive, to grow and create more jobs,” the association said.

Nasscom welcomed President Biden’s pledge for a new approach on trade and immigration, as well as a renewed and revitalised interest in science and technology.

The association also appreciated Biden’s commitment to review and make necessary changes to ”harmful regulatory policies put in place by the outgoing Administration”.

”The Indian technology industry makes significant contributions to the US economy and workforce, including local investments and job-creation, workforce development and upskilling their US employees. Nasscom member companies have an important history in the US,” it noted.

Indian IT companies work with over three-quarters of the Fortune 500 companies in the US, providing them with vital technology services and helping them innovate, compete, and grow, it added.

India-US bilateral trade increased by over 400 per cent since 2005, with a total increase in value from USD 37 billion in 2005 to USD 149 billion in 2019 and the technology sectors of both the countries have played a critical role in driving this, the statement said.

Tech Mahindra Managing Director and CEO C P Gurnani tweeted, ”Congratulations from the largest democracy to the oldest… The historic inauguration reiterates that democracy always prevails…This is an opportunity to heal the nation, build a new world & bring Climate and Sustainability back on the priority list”.

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