Unemployability: A bigger problem than unemployment

While I was talking to my friends in catering industry, I asked them what is the biggest challenge that they are facing — skilled labour like cooks, assistant cooks, bearers, servers, etc. I asked the same question to my mentor in hospitality industry and he agrees — unavailability of skilled labour. We have shortage of plumbers, electricians, masons, etc. I recently visited my village… you are right that farmers are also facing labour crisis. Back to Bangalore and I see that there are lot of youth without jobs — mind you that all these youth have engineering degrees or higher studies.

Where are we heading to? On one hand we have lot of jobs that needs to be fulfilled while on the other hand we have high rate of unemployment!

Education and skills are what normally comprise human capital. While educational qualifications are essential for entering the labour market, it is the skills that will finally determine one’s employability quotient. Young people desperately search for entry-level jobs while employers, ironically, are unable to find people with the right skills. The sad part is that only 10 percent of the total workforce in the country receives some kind of skill training. The feedback from corporate India and research institutes alike is that 65-75% , 15 million Indian youth enter the workforce each year are not job-ready or suitably employable.

While we may boast that we are the youngest country with highest number of people who can work, we are falling short in terms of employing them.

Food for thought!?