Antarang Foundation (www.antarangfoundation.org) envisions a world where every young person is passionately, productively and positively engaged in a career of their choice. Through two career focused programs, CareerAware and CareeReady, the foundation works to bridge the Employability gap that exists amongst disadvantaged youth. The programs deliver career guidance, develop core employability skills, and finally link students with career opportunities.
Antarang Foundation has reached 82,000+ young adults from 14-25 years of age through their CareeReady and CareerAware programs, of which more than 3,000 students are trained in employability skills and linked to career opportunities. Antarang has close to 30 career service centers and has partnered with more than 150 corporate organisations.
Career Aware is a 5 day program for high school students which exposes them to different careers and helps them to arrive at options for suitable careers based on their interest, aptitude, personality and practical realities.
The career recommendations were arrived at manually by a few team members making the process manual, person dependent and difficult to scale.
Koita Foundation worked with Antarang to redesign the process to use OMR technology to scan the student booklets and established a heuristic method to arrive at career recommendations. A salesforce based platform was used automate the career planning. This has enabled Antarang to scale from 3000 students a year to 32,000 students across geographies.
Students were filling out booklets manually to evaluate their interest, aptitude, personality and reality. These were then manually processed to arrive at individual career recommendations. This made the process subjective, person dependent and difficult to scale. It was difficult to monitor the quality of outcomes.
Koita Foundation worked with Antarang to enable generation of automated career recommendations. The student booklets were converted to OMR sheets which could be scanned and uploaded hence avoiding data entry. Algorithmic rules were developed to arrive at career recommendations based on the students profile. This made the process more consistent and objective. A salesforce platform was used to come up with the final recommendations and report for each student. The system also supports day to day operations - allocating batches to facilitators, payments to facilitators.
This has resulted in a consistent, modular and scalable program with better visibility on outcomes.
Career Ready is a 3 month classroom program for youth from 18 - 25 years to help them become more employable and link them back to education, employment and training.
In order to ensure impact, it was important to track and analyze performance - within batches/students, across batches/students which was difficult to do with manual systems. Koita Foundation helped develop a tablet based application which is used by trainers and students in the classroom. This has resulted in better outcomes of the program in terms of graduation rates and an improvement in the employability diagnostic of 1.7 to 2.4
Manual systems were used to record student data, attendance, performance, graduation rate etc. This made it difficult to analyze trends across batches within and across communities and monitor performance . It was also difficult to integrate this data with placements to seamlessly monitor student journeys from registration to placement.
Koita Foundation worked with Antarang to develop a comprehensive tablet based system which tracks students from registration to graduation. Monitoring of employability skills is also integrated within this platform. This data now feeds into the placement system. Trainers can compare performance across batches and with other communities which leads to more targeted efforts towards performance improvements. This has resulted in significant increase in tracking of student and batch performance in a contextual manner, improved graduation rates and employability skills.
The outcome of the Career Ready program is a linkage to education, employment or training. These linkages are managed by a centralized Placement Cell within Antarang.
The Placement cell needs to be able to quickly link student to employment opportunities which suited their needs and background. Use of manual processes led to longer lead times and made it more difficult to monitor success with different employers.
A salesforce based system was developed to help automate end to end placement and tracking the career progress of each student. This has doubled the number of linkages and reduced the lead time for linkages by 40%. It has also led to more strategic partnerships with employers.
Manual systems made it difficult to track the journey of each student. This led to to longer lead times for linking students to opportunities and a lower number of linkages. It was also difficult to analyse and get insights on success with various employers.
Koita Foundation worked with Antarang to develop a Salesforce based solution to track progress of students after Career Ready program. The Antarang internal team uses the system to link students with matching opportunities.
This system receives data from the tablet application used in classrooms and is also linked with the Student Placement App to provide up-to-date job availability to students.
This has provided immense support in tracking and managing individual student career progress.
Student placements was a more 'push' based system where the placement team would connect and follow up with students for opportunities. There was a need to empower students to become proactive about their placements thereby creating a 'pull' based system.
Koita Foundation worked with Antarang to develop the Career Ready App,(android app) linked to the centralized system where students could get customized opportunities and express their interest to pursue them. The app also contains testimonials of other students who have taken up jobs. This has resulted in a higher number of linkages and greater alumni engagement.
All placements were handled centrally with data only available with the Antarang team. The engagement with students was manual, primarily based on phone calls. There was a need to make students more accountable and take responsibility for placement by providing them with the relevant information to take pro-active steps towards their own placement.
The solution consists of the Career Ready Mobile app for students which is connected to the centralized placement system. Students can view opportunities (jobs and courses) which are customized for them and express an interest / apply online. This also provides an interactive platform where current students and alumni can view opportunities and testimonials / career related content and engage with one another. This has led to greater proactivity of students in taking responsibility for their careers, greater efficiency of the process enabling a leaner team and a higher number of linkages
New technological advancements are entering the digital world every single day- it all comes down to pinpointing which technology is the most applicable based on your requirements. In Antarang's journey towards enabling young adults to successfully transition into employment we asked ourselves how can we leverage technology to best meet the needs of our students?
With the plethora of options available within tech and as a not for profit with limited experience with tech solutions we were unsure of the best way forward for us to ensure we have lean systems that help us do what we do. This was when we met Rekha and Rizwan Koita who worked with our teams to realign our current processes to leverage tech to achieve scale while maintaining our program quality. This partnership has enabled us to begin our transition from Google sheets which led to mismanaged data to truly becoming systems orientated and data driven with all our work.
Having an informed voice at the table really helped us map our technological needs as an organisation and enabled us to begin building our systems with a holistic and future forward view. What made the engagement even more valuable was their immediate offer to not only connect us to good service providers to action our needs, help build road maps to track our progress and stay involved to ensure completion and implementation. Today, Antarang is on the way to make real time data driven decisions that sharpen our impact thanks to the timely and relevant introduction of technology in our day to day functioning.