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Skill Development Courses: A Solution to Reduce Youth Unemployment in India

Public Policy
Oct 16, 2020 6:00 AM 3 min read
Editorial

India is a country with a commendable power of youth - be it in terms of number or talent. With a population of approximately 1.33 billion people, more than 50% of the country's population falls under the age of 25.

But job creation has lagged population growth, leading to high unemployment among the youth.

Skill-based education can be a solution to unemployment and ultimately a resolution to poverty.

A Cause for Concern 

The poor employment prospects of many young Indians is an alarming situation. Increasing unemployment can be associated with poverty and crime in the country. 

In India, unemployment among the well-educated is thrice the national average. Recent data has shown that India had 31 million unemployed people with about 9 million of them holding a graduation degree.

The total number of employed people in the year 2017 was 407.5 million, which declined to 406 million in 2018 and then to 400 million in the year 2019. The labour participation rate also fell from 43.2% in January 2019 to 42.7% in February 2019.

The lack of required skills is among the major contributing factors for increased unemployment. 

 

Reforms from the Ground Level

The conventional syllabus of schools and colleges doesn’t necessarily provide the practical skills required for success in the real world. The education system, which is solely focused on marks and degree certificates, is making students handicapped to the present scenario. As a result, they are unable to sustain in their jobs and face unemployment. 

There are other factors that lead to unemployment including:

  • Low vocational skills of working population
  • Inadequate infrastructure
  • Low investments in the educational sector 
  • Social taboos against women employment

Providing skill-based courses at the school level will be a solution to the problem of unemployment as well as poverty, since people will be equipped with the real skill set required for the present industrial scenario. 

 

How to Reorient Policy Focus to Skill Development

Skills like digital marketing, aspects of finance, web development, graphic designing, writing, entrepreneurship programmes, marketing, hospitality operations and basic life support training should be added to the educational curriculum. More focus should be towards ethical values, creativity, decision making, aptitude enhancement, critical thinking, communication techniques or people management, cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence and adaptability.

All skill sets including socio-economic, technical skills and cognitive skills should be included. The above-mentioned are some trending skills and values that should be taught to students from an early age to empower them.

The syllabus needs to be reviewed and the skills should be added to the curriculum. Learning these skills will bring with it new opportunities to the students down the lane.

The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) provides technical training linked with employment to the unemployed youth around the nation.

The Government is working toward the cause. An appreciable initiative for the same is World Class Skill Centre (WCSC); it imparts practical skill courses in conventional education. It has proven to be a success in the first five years of existence by providing job opportunities to the number of students.

Another example is the introduction of the Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum Framework. It was introduced to impart ideal personality and character traits in students. The programme proved to be a success amongst students.

The Government needs to focus on the generation of a skilled labour force. 

Entrepreneurship programs in the country need to be promoted and more programs like Make in India need to be implemented. 

Furthermore, greater investment in the health sector, judiciary, agriculture, etc will help create more job opportunities.

 

Conclusion

It’s high time to bring practical skills in the limelight and shift focus beyond mere marks and degrees. Imparting skill courses through the curriculum will be exceptionally beneficial to the students.

India is a country filled with youth power and that shouldn’t be wasted. The existing skill gap between education and professional skills needs to be bridged to improve the present employment landscape and to grow the economy.

 

Written by Preksha, ‘In My Opinion’ Scholar, Moolya Foundation

Disclaimer: Views expressed are personal

FIN.

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