Despite being world’s youngest country in terms of demographic dividend, India has only 2% of the workforce skilled compared with 96% in South Korea, 45% in China, 50-55% in USA and 74% in Germany. Around 12 million people enter the workforce of India every year. A huge chunk of this remains unemployed because of poor proficiency or training. Indians have always been focused on building higher education but what they need to do is enhance the Employability Quotient (EQ) and produce skilled manpower through skill training interventions. In a move to increase this workforce’s employment opportunities, the government of India is looking to introduce rights-based legislation for skill training in India, in line with those in Germany and South Korea.
This act will make skill training enforceable, which in turn will significantly improve the employability of the Indian workforce, which is the end goal. While various developed countries have already implemented such acts, it is a great leap of development for India to do so. In the next few years, up-skilling is going to be the need for every individual in the workforce. Various companies have already started up-skilling their workforce to face the newer challenges that the ever-changing economy is about to bring forward.
While traditional education has its advantages, the ideal system would be to integrate skill-based training along with traditional education for the best output. A study by ManPower group suggests that 67 percent of Indian employers are trying to find skilled manpower to meet their requirements and the reason for this is the lack of employability skills. The major skills that the workforce lacks are communication, presentation, interpersonal skills and team working which are essential in everyday work life. These are the employability skills that need to be integrated along with traditional education which will prepare them for the job market. In fact, according to global consulting leader Mercer's report '2017 India Total Remuneration Survey', 55 percent of companies have indicated an increase in their headcount in 2018. This is a major breakthrough after 2017 which was sluggish because of slow Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, demonetization, shrinking private investments and the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST).
As per statistics, 75 percent of India’s population falls in the working age group of 15 to 59 years. By 2050, the nation’s estimated working population is said to grow in excess of 1 billion in numbers which means more job seekers and a bigger employment crisis. According to the current youth population, only 10 percent has the essential vocational training a job requires. This is a huge gap in the market and it needs to be addressed immediately with up-skilling. The existing opportunities in engineering, technology, architecture, pharmacy, management, applied arts and crafts can be converted with standard vocational training. There are vocational training courses that private universities are now offering in India that are designed to provide dual advantage of education and skill development which will better career prospects for these individuals.
India has been known to consider engineering and medicine as staunch career options because they have a future and are high-paying jobs. The concept of vocational education is not yet a stable career path. This peer-pressure and lack of awareness also affects the task force of the country. What most of the people don’t know is that private universities that offer vocational education also offer campus placement, which usually has a 100 percent job offer rate. Skill training also raises confidence, improves productivity and competency of an individual through focussed outcome-based learning.
Globally, these vocational training courses have already been picked up by employers and employees to enhance their taskforce. Germany and South Korea are the leaders in this market. It is widely acknowledged that this is one of the main reasons that Germany’s engineering products are highly valued and their economy is recession-proof. Skill-based education isn’t just a side option anymore. It is a requisite and need of the nation to upgrade its taskforce skill sets to address the growing gap between the workforce and the employment opportunities.
- Government weighs legislation on right to skill training
- ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey India 2017
- ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey India 2018