According to an article on Fast Company, huge Indian outsourcer Wipro has developed an onsite university to develop more new employees than the Indian education system can currently supply them.

The practice began out of necessity. Wipro, which now has 80,000 employees, struggled to grow because the Indian university system couldn't supply enough qualified engineers. "Today, we pick youngsters who aren't fully trained, bring them to campus, and train them," says Pratik Kumar, executive VP of human resources.

Fast Company calls it "Supplanting the Education System to Develop the Employees they Need" - although complementing might be a better word than supplanting.

Of course Wipro is not alone in creating their own university offerings - highly specialized skills like meteorology have been run this way for years. But it is a creative (if pricey) way to tackle a serous skills shortage, and has the reported added benefits of reducing turnover and improving the employer brand. And it is created by an understanding of supply side issues, and by considering what the available supply will want - not just what Wipro will need!

Considering workforce supply (in both a quantitative and qualitative sense) is vital to good strategic workforce planning, but we find many organizations still simply focus on calculating their own demand. Hopefully YOUR organization won't need a serious skills shortage to start thinking about supply as well....and maybe coming up with targeted solutions like Wipro have.

What other examples do we have out there?