Conundrum of India's demographic dividend

Apr 14 2014, 12:56 IST
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Our nation is poised to become the world’s youngest country by 2020, with an average age of 29 years. (AP) Our nation is poised to become the world’s youngest country by 2020, with an average age of 29 years. (AP)
SummaryVocational training, 'learning by doing', soft skills in graduate programmes are remedies.

fresh learning methods. Some initiatives like the NSDC, the National Human Resource Development (NHRD) and STAR (Standard Training Assessment & Reward) scheme have been initiated to boost skill development. Sector skill councils are also extremely vital enablers in standardising curriculum and training needs based on assessment of skill gaps by industry and role. Unless there is a well-defined and uniform pedagogy by training providers, the trust and confidence in vocational training and skill enhancement will be difficult to achieve.

The STAR scheme, for instance, has been formulated to encourage skill development for the youth by providing direct cash transfer on successful completion of approved training programmes. On successful assessment, the candidate is issued a certificate as well as a monetary reward of R10,000 to cover course fees.

Along with this, the private sector is also taking several initiatives to contribute effectively to the government’s endeavours. Companies and industry associations across business sectors are not only creating their in-house training facilities but are also taking steps to make potential employees job-ready before they join organisations.

However, it will not be totally wrong to say that a significant number of youth termed as ‘unemployable’ end up in this category because of their inability to signal their suitability to potential employers. Besides the efforts being made towards training them and arming them with better skills, it is also crucial to identify their existing skills and preferences and connect them to jobs that they are most suited for. Further, the inefficiencies of the job market and the absence of effective matching mechanisms is also an issue that needs to be addressed. The proliferation of mobiles and adoption of UID can make such a task and job registry a reality.

These initiatives will help job-seekers upgrade their profiles and extend opportunities for better livelihoods to the burgeoning workforce.

The author is founder & CEO of MeraJob India, an HR solutions company specialising in matching the job-seekers in the mass recruitment segment using data analytics and pre-screening

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