While on a field trip to Mumbai in Maniben MP Shah College of Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersay (SNDT) University in Matunga, I met Nithya, a 19-year-old girl, for whom the very idea of being employed was, until a few months ago, a distant dream. Today, Nithya is on the brink of a new life, equipped with a letter of intent from Andromeda Loans that guarantees her a job. I also learnt that she will be the first woman in her family to venture out for work. What Nithya needed most was guidance on how to find the right career opportunities that can help her secure her family`s future.
She received this along with 200 other students who attended the career guidance counselling and employability session facilitated by the Disha Programme-a partnership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) India and India Development Foundation and supported by the IKEA Foundation. Under this programme, young girls like Nithya are guided on discovering their interests, trained on how to improve their employability skills and are connected with the companies and local businesses as potential employees.
The Indian workforce today needs a formula to find the right person with the right skills for the right job. It is essential to examine each component of this requirement, to understand how to develop a model which will ensure that job seekers are connected with the right employers. It has long been believed that the Indian employment market is supply-driven, without considering the different aspects of the demand. Aside from the demands of the employer or the private sector, not enough focus is being given to the needs and aspirations of the young job-seekers. Today, India is sitting on a goldmine of raw talent, waiting to be nurtured, developed and added to the growing human resource pool. India has more than 50 per cent of its population below the age of 25, a number that will look for jobs for the next one decade. As per the Census 2011 and the National Sample Survey Office, there is an estimate of over 105 million fresh entrants into the workforce that would require skill training by 2022.
While large-scale skill development programmes today focus on skilling and job placement, it also needs to explore what potential employees want or excel at. This gap in programmes can lead to entrants resigning from their positions within a few months. It also becomes a problem for young women, who are often pressured to get married in school or early in their jobs. The aim must be to find the right person for every job by providing counselling and career guidance services to young men and women, both in school and out of school, to enable job-seekers to become aware of the range of opportunities, discover their aptitudes and choose a skill-set that matches their aspirations.
Second, the alignment of skills with jobs is the most pivotal factor in determining the growth of the Indian workforce. With the advent of technology, it is becoming clear that skills that are taught today will become obsolete within the next few years. Many skills that would be required in the future are currently unknown and large-scale programmes to impart technical skills to the youth today may leave them unemployed in a decade or so.
Right man for the right job - India is pegged to become the world`s largest workforce by 2027 but for this, it has to shift focus from mere skilling of youth. The nature of skills has to be re-considered. For more information visit: https://www.dailypioneer.com/