The key determinants for employability of an individual are moving self-sufficiently within the labour market through knowledge, skills and attitudes and the way they use these assets to present themselves to their employers. While some countries put emphasis on changing their education systems to be more employment-centric, in most parts of the world, education and employment are not in sync with each other.
The high growth sectors in India are currently facing acute shortage of employable graduates, thereby hampering fast paced advancement in these sectors. India has one of the highest graduate producers per year in the world. But, this does not equate to a high percentage of employable candidates. Young people in India make up 19 per cent of the population and despite growing demands for skilled employees the unemployment rate is at 50 percent for youth across the country.
A comparatively younger population can equally be a challenge as it can be an immense opportunity for any country. More than 70 per cent of Indians by 2025 will be of employable age. In this context, universalising access to secondary education, increasing the percentage of our scholars in higher education and providing skill training is necessary. India has historically created employment to the tune of 6.5 – 7 million per year, implying India can face significant challenges in employment creation – should growth derail even slightly. Unemployment among the educated youth occurs due to a disparity between the ambitions of graduates and associated employment opportunities accessible to them. In this background, the real challenge is about how we invest in education and ensure we create rich, employable talent that is globally useful. As per the industrial requirement, there is a huge gap between number of students graduating per year and the employment they get after completion of their course. The need was felt to redefine and restructure the entire education system to address this issue.
The budget 2011-12 has brought cheer to the education sector with a hike in the government spending, especially under Sarva Shikha Abhiyaan by upto 40 percent. Vocational education has duly received added impetus through the additional allocation made to the National Skills Development Council and efforts in vocationalisation of secondary education. Skilling the workforce is of urgent necessity in the current scenario. We hope that the current budget will promote further partnerships and initiatives for bridging the employability gap.