[op-ed snap] Skill development of the Youth: Pay heed to the market

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Mains Paper 3: Economy | Development & employment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: International Labour Organisation, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana

Mains level: Reaping benefits of India’s demographic dividend by better skilling


Context

Unemployment in India to rise

  1. Coupled with a continual increase in voluntary unemployment, the International Labour Organisation expects unemployment in India to be higher in 2018
  2. In India, 65% of the population is below 35 years and unemployment, especially among youth, can limit the nation’s ability to reap the much-hyped demographic dividend

Enhancing youth employability

  1. A wide range of stakeholders, including the government, companies, civil society organizations, and for-profit enterprises are working either independently or in cohesion to enhance youth employability
  2. The government has also undertaken a structured approach via the establishment of the ministry of skill development and employment and the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
  3. Currently, four models are used for supporting youth employability in the country
  • The first model, or the self-employment model, work on the rationale that if youth are trained in a particular skill, they will have the capacity to become micro-entrepreneurs
  • The second model, or the employer-led model, trains youth in specific skills relevant to an enterprise and then absorbs the youth into their own value chain
  • The third, the placement-led model, provides training to youth and also established linkages with potential employers
  • Fourth, the market linkage model provides end-to-end support to self-employed youth, assisting them in earning better incomes

Causes of increasing unemployment

  1. Unemployment is higher among the formally educated in comparison to the illiterate
  2. There is higher youth unemployment in rural areas, while most interventions focus on urban areas
  3. There is a mismatch between the skill sets that industries require and the skill sets that youth are equipped with
  4. These structural challenges result in a demand-supply mismatch which can be summarized as
  • a mismatch between youth aspirations and the skills training being provided
  • mismatch in skills training and industry needs
  • poor industry buy-in for vocational training courses because of lack of standardization and universally accepted certification

Solutions for this problem

  1. The focus should be put on understanding aspirations, industry requirements and standardization across the skill-development value chain
  2. Well-designed interventions will be effective only if the candidates are willing, receptive and capable of absorbing the knowledge or skill being imparted by the intervention
  3. Counseling in skilling programmes is essential to align the aspirations of programme beneficiaries with the expected outcomes of training
  4. While designing programmes, it is critical to map skills being imparted to the specific needs of potential employers so that the skilling-to-employment loop is closed seamlessly
  5. When it comes to designing programmes that focus on self-employment or entrepreneurship, it is important to assess demand for the product or service and study policies or schemes that can be leveraged to enhance sales
  6. There is also scope for increased public-private partnerships
  7. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) can use existing under-utilized infrastructure available with educational institutions to facilitate vocational training and skill development

Way forward

  1. India’s demography provides a great opportunity for the country with regard to economic growth and development milestones
  2. Concentrated and evidence-backed efforts which can cohesively develop and strengthen youth aspirations, the skill development ecosystem and markets where youth can be employed are necessary for India to realize that opportunity
Skilling India – Skill India Mission,PMKVY, NSDC, etc.
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