Unemployability and the lack of skills: How to be job- ready

Yet, the present educational system, paired with the student’s lack of direction and intent, makes it easy for institutions to peddle of any kind of teaching as beneficial for the future.
Published on Jun 26, 2019 11:36 AM IST
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ByMartin Redley

One cannot deny the impact that the youth have in society. Touted as the torch bearers of the future and sources of unmatched advancements the youth have a great deal going for them. With the change in economic, educational and occupational scenario, along with an upsurge of advancements, opportunities have been levelled enough to supplement the goal to reach nation-wide as well as individual aspirations. Yet, are they really up for the task?

The precarious situation

Apparently, not- the youth are finding it hard to get the job that they want. The transition from college to work is at its shakiest, with recruiting giants complaining that the youth of the nation are largely unemployable- according to NASSCOM, over 80% of all Indian Engineering university graduates are unemployable1. It all leads to the grave rise of skill gap as the desired skills are greatly lacking amongst this segment.

The lack of ability to impart quality education and interest to enhance the standards is lost amongst even the most eminent educational institutions in the country.

The cause of “100% placement” has reached to that crescendo that institutions place greater emphasis on attracting organizations, rather than doling out quality education that would empower students to get through the unpredictability of the market. The upheavals of the market tend to leave an air of uncertainty, which would require a prepared individual to cope up with its variances and still emerge with a zeal to learn and contribute greatly to the growth of the market. Yet, the present educational system, paired with the student’s lack of direction and intent, makes it easy for institutions to peddle of any kind of teaching as beneficial for the future.

Implications of such development

This has frightening implications- a long-lingering impact is left as the youth stumble to make smooth transitions into the workplace and a solid career. Lacking in sufficient skills and work experience leaves the youth handicapped in contributing sufficiently to the society. As a result, they require public assistance, inflating their social cost while contributing minimally to tax revenues. Also, a rise in illicit activities and other societal effects are linked to unemployment. This should serve as a wakeup call for all, creating a need for awareness of skill development and create programs that supplement this gap.

So, what does one need, to be a job- ready?

Job-readiness does not require herculean efforts as it can be achieved through the following:

· Knowledge. The information that the person needs to know to be effective on the job. Most universities provide this to their students, yet via half-hearted means. What students need is a full-fledged redressal on the job roles and the nuances of work.

· Technical Skills. The practice needed to apply the tools, processes, and knowledge to be productive. Indian universities have been quick to market their engineering programs as “practical” and “project-based”, but these tend to be small, isolated projects or case studies that don’t give the students the full range of skills and experience they need to be job-ready. Practical knowledge trumps over rote learning, in providing the factual skill to uplift one’s career.

· Communication Skills. How to communicate effectively, especially in English since English is the language for software development throughout the world. This must include speaking persuasively, listening effectively, being able to read with comprehension, and thinking critically in order to create effective documents or presentations.

· Behaviour Skills. How to be aware of, and manage, one’s behavior and its consequences to achieve one’s goals within specific contexts and situations. Understanding the variances of behavior, and incorporating them to hon razor-sharp behavioral skills, is essential in understanding the requirements and facilitating them, in the best possible way.

· Experience. This is what new graduates complain about the most: “how can I have experience when I just graduated?”. Students need to be immersed in realistic work environments where they actually create products/ experiences using professional tools and processes. This way, they acquire a portfolio of products that they have actually developed that they can show to hiring managers.

Acing in the market- the Carter Radley way

A dynamic, continuous flow in education is essential to attain and maintain relevance in the competitive job market. Recognizing the upcoming challenge, the government, in collaboration with companies, civil society organizations, and for-profit enterprises are working towards enhancing youth employability via skill development programs

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