There has been national debates surrounding unemployment and most of the proposed solutions involve boosting creation of jobs. But, are we sure that job creation would only help in decreasing the unemployment rate? The statistics about the unemployment rate in India amongst the youth paints a dismal picture.
As per the datafrom CMIE (Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy), the urban unemployment rate rose by a fraction from 8.89% in November, 2019 to 8.91% in December, 2019; and, in rural India, the unemployment rate grew sharper from 6.82% in November, 2019 to 7.13% in December, 2019. However, India was below the global average of 13.2%, which may still look like a ray of hope for us.
Experts argue that ‘lack of opportunities’ is a concern. But when we dive deep into it, there is a greater concern – ‘lack of skills.’ The data of National Sample Survey says, out of 470 Million people in working age, only 10% receive any kind of training or access to skilled employment opportunities. It shows that there is a huge mismatch between demand and supply of skilled workforce and employment opportunities.
Although, there has been an initiative taken by the Government of India i.e., “Skill India Mission” which aims at creating a skilled talent pool of 500 million by the end of 2020, still there is a long way to go. Apart from government initiatives, the Indian Corporate sector also plays a huge role through Corporate Social Responsibility (henceforth referred as CSR). Through CSR, corporate organizations are improving the scale, quality and sustainability of “Youth Skills Development Programme”.
The standard and quality of education plays a vital role in employment. If the quality of education does not match the job, it becomes the root cause of youth unemployment. Out of many developing countries, the highest rate of unemployment is among the people with only primary education or even less; however, higher education does not guarantee a decent job either. As Amit Kalantri observed in his book Wealth of Words, “Schooling doesn’t assure employment but skill does.” Our education system is not adequately tailored to the need of the job market, which leads to two consequences: the inability for young people to find jobs and the inability for employers to hire the skills they need.
CSR can help in understanding the skills gap by doing analysis of desired skill vs. available skill. Lots of futuristic skill areas are the focus point. Enhancing the new-age skills helps fresh job seekers, small entrepreneurs and experienced employees. Reviving the traditional skill with modern conventional skill will help those who are in need to upgrade their skills.
There are many jobs that do not require high school diplomas; this implies that these job opportunities are ideal for those who may not have completed their formal education. However, there are prerequisite skills, which are needed to perform such jobs. For instance, quite a few of these opportunities demand specialized skills that requirespecific training, like the role of a carpenter, plumber, painter, technician, mobile technician, home appliances installer, etc.; they simply need a set of skills on innovative technologies.
CSR plays a very important role in creating a pool of talent, which helps in bridging the skill gap between demand and supply of “workforce”. There is a large pool of untapped talent that lacks specialized training. Unlike a traditional college education, which requires many years and a lot of money, specific vocational skills training is readily available and more affordable, offering fast-track solutions to those looking for opportunities to enter these fields. In the real context vocational education programs have made a real difference in the lives of countless young people nationwide; they build self-confidence and leadership skills by allowing students to utilize their unique gifts and talents.
CSR helps such untapped resources via various training programs to cope up with the current demand of skills and the future demand of skilled talent. The CSR also focuses on education programs to assist economically and socially underprivileged communities, which in turn will create a pool of skilled talent and fill the gap between demand and supply of skilled talent.
CSR has been successfully addressing and eradicating the skills gap problem existing in India’s workforce. When you empower the youth through skills, it enhances their motivation, the socio-economic development of the nation, the access to untapped skilled workforce, which will further provide access to investment and funding opportunities, and open the path to entrepreneurship.
CSR plays an important role in sustainable development of the talent pool. Corporates have the expertise, strategic thinking and resources to facilitate a wide social change. Effective partnerships between corporates, NGOs and the government will place India’s social development towards sustainable growth. As per the changing market demands, the need of the hour is the development of a CSR framework that can play a vital role in the creation of ‘New Age Skilled India,’ so that corporates can contribute towards building up effective employable resources.