Unemployability, a huge concern

The state of our higher education is reason for concern. Education is not providing our youth with the skills they need for employment. According to Niti Aayog’s recently-released report, Strategy for New India @ 75, about 53% of those coming out of India’s higher educational institutions are not employable. Engineering graduates, it says, have little connect with the industry in which they work. The Niti Aayog report’s findings are not new. Studies over the past decade have been drawing attention to the unemployability of our graduates. Worryingly, their figures pointed to a larger unemployability problem. In 2016, for instance, a New Delhi-based employment solutions company claimed that 95% of Indian software engineers did not possess the skills to write a software programme. Its findings created a stir in the industry and some captains of the software and biotech industries even trashed the figures. However, subsequent studies have not only echoed these findings but also point to the fact that the malaise is across fields: Indian graduates are unfit and unskilled for their jobs.

National Sample Survey Organisation reports have pointed out that unemployment in India is higher among those with higher educational qualifications. The main reason for the unemployability of our educated youth is the poor quality of education being imparted in our schools and higher educational institutions. Our education system emphasises rote learning and prioritises grades. As a result, students memorise and reproduce. They are not encouraged to think, question or innovate. Curriculums are outdated and practical study and field trips are rare. Skill training is not a priority. As the Niti Aayog study points out, only 5.4% of India’s workforce has undergone skill training compared to 75% in Germany and 96% in South Korea. Importantly, there is little co-ordination between educational institutions and training institutes on the one hand and employers and industry associations on the other. Greater interaction would help the former gain a better understanding of requirements of industry.

India will have a surplus of people of working age, giving the country a competitive edge in labour costs. There is a possibility of India squandering this demographic edge if it does not act swiftly and robustly to make our youth employable. India must take the problem of its unemployable educated youth more seriously. Not only does it make economic sense to skill our youth but also having a large number of unemployable educated youth is dangerous for society too. Growing job frustration among them could trigger social unrest, even violent conflict.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 1

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

Unemployability, a huge concern

0 comments

Write the first review for this !