After the Narendra Modi government recently completed four years, several reports highlighted the acute ‘job crisis’ in the country. In the flurry of doomsday reports, one vital factor was give a miss — skill development.
The investments by Indian and foreign companies have significantly increased in last few years. In last three fiscals, India has received foreign direct investment worth $27 billion.
Even the domestic capital expenditure by India Inc. is on the rise and is expected to grow by Rs 1,00,000 crore by 2019-20, according to India Ratings report. As a result, plenty of employment opportunities did open up in India. But due to severe skill deficiencies of the Indian labour force, the employability aspect eludes them and entrepreneurs.
Sample this: the government’s Skill India Mission trained
only 2.5 crore youths in the last three years, according to report by ANI. The initiative, which was launched in 2015, aimed to train 40 crore youths by 2022. In other words, the government was looking to train around 5 crore a year under Skill India (on an average) but trained only half of the force in three years.
A report by Aspiring Minds buttresses this point. The highest employment opportunities in India lie with Maharashtra, but at 19.72% followed by the National Capital Region (NCR) with 16.99%.
The report, titled Skill Map India 2017, said Gujarat has 5.63% employment opportunities, West Bengal 4.47%, Madhya Pradesh 4.11% and Uttar Pradesh 3.7%.
In the southern states, the numbers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are 16.03% and 9.80% respectively. The employment opportunities of the top four states together stand at about 65%.
Software developers, sales professionals, customer service, general management, marketing professionals and computer technicians are among the skills in demand.
It is not hard to see why skilling has not truly taken off. India is woefully short of quality trainers. And the training programmes are few and inadequate for the numbers needed.
According to the National Sample Survey 2017, out of the 470 million people of working age in India, only 10% had access to any training or skilled employment opportunities.
Corroborating with the figures highlighting skill deficiency in the country, International Labour Organisation's (ILO) report suggests that the number of jobless in the country is likely to rise to 18.6 million in 2018 and 18.9 million in 2019 as against the previous 18.3 million.
According to the ILO, in 2016, the global unemployment rate for youth in India stood at 13.1% while the global average of youth seeking jobs in 2015-2016 was 13.2%.
In 2013, the BJP in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election, had promised to create 10 crore jobs every year. However, after four years, the reality is starkly different.
Surjit Bhalla, member of the prime minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), recently claimed the government created 15 million jobs in 2017 after which Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy (CMIE) accused him of ‘inventing’ the numbers.
Mahesh Vyas, CEO of CMIE, was quoted saying to
The Wire that their survey for 2017 reflected an overall employment growth of only 1.8 million. The CMIE conducts one of India’s largest employment surveys, considering 5,00,000 respondents every month.
Though the scenario of skill development differs from state to state, the common thread is that more than 93% of our workforce still remains in the unorganised sector, according to the MSDE data.
Here is One Case Study
Andhra Pradesh, the residuary state after bifurcation, is looking to build a ‘world class’ capital Amaravati. But because the state had a centralised skill development policy within Hyderabad, it is seeing lack of skill development today.
According to a report published by
The New Indian Express in 2017, the skill development centres, set up in 157 engineering colleges across Andhra Pradesh, received tepid response. The report said only 10 percent trainees were getting recruited by top companies.
Officials had estimated to generate more than two lakh jobs in the year, however, only 50,781 students were trained at these skill centres and just 2,136 managed to get jobs.When Andhra Pradesh, the largest state of south India and a developed one at that, faces a severe deficiency in skilled manpower, one can image the condition of other states that lack a strong industrial and manufacturing .