104.62 million fresh talents likely to enter India’s labour market by 2022.(REUTERS/File)
104.62 million fresh talents likely to enter India’s labour market by 2022.(REUTERS/File)

How skill development is transforming the employment sector in India

Initiatives like Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS) have significantly contributed to the training of millions of Indians and contributed largely to the skill economy.
By Divya Jain
UPDATED ON OCT 01, 2019 06:31 PM IST

Innovations and contradictions! That’s what today’s age is all about! On one hand, emerging technologies are improving employee productivity and living standards of people; on the other, they are replacing numerous manual and entry-level jobs with automation. This uncertain transition, which most people are upbeat about, is creating multiple new-age job roles - be it a YouTube Content Creator, Data Miner or Analytics Manager - pushing companies to seek more skilled professionals who can fit into such emerging positions.

However, the question that arises is whether India is actually creating enough jobs for its youth. For the 104.62 million fresh talents likely to enter India’s labor market by 2022, the country would need to generate 8.1 million jobs annually. Failing to achieve this objective will only add to the country’s increasing unemployment rate that reached 6.1% in 2017-18 fiscal, despite technological developments.

We couldn’t even blame technology for the country’s present joblessness. To address this state of worry, it is imperative for the government and private sectors to collaborate and prepare a concrete road map focused on launching newer training modules to upskill its existing workforce and keep them at par with today’s industry standards.

The country should make vocational training a mandate among fresh talents and experienced professionals. With training workshops, the employable workforce even from the remote regions of the country, will be able to learn and grasp the necessary practical skills that the industry is looking for. The government at both center and state levels should also help people strengthen their life skills by providing them with training in entry-level areas such as front office jobs, automobile repair, and plumbing, among others.

Some of the existing initiatives by the incumbent government are Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Scheme for Higher Education Youth in Apprenticeship and Skills (SHREYAS). Both of them have significantly contributed to the training of millions of Indians and contributed largely to the skill economy, thus enhancing the employability of the people through ‘on the job work exposure’.

However, what’s more important is to look into reshaping the outdated learning pedagogies and curriculums at both school and college level. Doing so will help the youth learn the essentials from the very infancy while giving them a broader and clearer view of where they stand and what they want to pursue in life. This would slowly but surely encourage continuous learning and help foster a growth mindset among youth across India.

We should also understand that it is not the responsibility of a single body but multiple players including the government, industry, and academia. All should come together and work under a common umbrella to prepare the youth for future jobs. Their amalgamated efforts would rapidly help restructure our traditional educational system and make it more demand-led and skill-based, one of the most crucial requirements as of now.

Rolling out certification programs for our youth can also be a game-changing solution to this existing skill-gap and unemployment problem. These programs would empower individuals to test their knowledge, enhance their skills and help them understand relevant careers suitable for them. Eventually, certifications will help companies seek and recruit the best industry talent for various job roles.

All such initiatives would largely help the Indian youth to learn, progress and develop new skills that will be pervasive for future jobs. This will also depend upon how the country integrates technology in education to ensure creativity within the students, from the very growth stage. If successfully implemented, these collaborative public-private efforts can help leverage the potential of India’s youth and achieve large-scale success in the long run. And, who knows we might just manage to rise and become one of the most successful economies across the globe.

(Author Divya Jain is Co-Founder and CEO, Safeducate. Views expressed here are personal.)

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