Employability bridge

Panelists recommend innovative and research-based skill training to fuel employment growth, Prachi writes.

Updated: Oct 10, 2013, 11:22 AM IST

Panelists recommend innovative and research-based skill training to fuel employment growth, Prachi writes.

Each year India produces approximately 12 million graduates, of which only five to six million get gainfully employed. As, with every passing year, the number of employment seekers was increasing with alarming alacrity, it was necessary to create adequate employment opportunities to harness this energy. This and other such issues pertaining to employment and skill development were discussed at the recently concluded Sixth HR Summit organized by the Confederation of the Indian Industry.

“Recognizing that the future growth of India will depend on skill development, the National Policy for Skill Development aims to create a skilled workforce of 500 million by 2022,” said Union Minister for Human Resources Development (HRD) M M Pallam Raju, the chief guest. Alluding to the government’s role handling the human resource capital in the country, Pallam Raju said the 12th Plan had put a modest target of skilling 80 million by 2017. China he said had moved out 150 million people from agriculture to the manufacturing sector. “We need to create our own model of skill development that can be based on the programmes followed in other countries, but modified to adapt to our needs,” he reflected.

"Unlike other Asian countries India`s dependency ratio has plummeted significantly and will continue to slide further. Over the next two decades, India will constitute 25 per cent of the world’s workforce," said Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank Ltd. She further added that the Human resource function was not an administration function anymore. “It is strategic partner of corporate companies that will help leverage India`s rich human capital," she commented. “We create financial graduates, but not bankers or insurance agents,” said Kochhar. “We need to create skilled employees oriented toward the need of the new Indian economy,” she added.

Talking on the skill gap, TK Srirang Head HR, ICICI Bank Ltd said, “There is a serious paradox of demand and supply when it comes to the skills that our young graduates possess and the ones needed for the job." According to him, the important questions human resource managers needed to address were—how to create jobs to employ the large number of graduates? And which sector would have the capacity to employ them? Currently, the largest pool of employees- about three million annually- were directly hired in the telecom and banking sectors respectively.

Talking about the manufacturing sector, Kocchar said, "We import electronic goods worth $30 million every year to meet domestic demand. This is the highest investment India makes after oil and gold.” However, she quipped, it was possible to manufacture these goods at home and meet the demand for goods and also ensure employment in the country.”

Finally, all panelists agreed on the need to drive innovative and research-based skill training right from the school level in order to create employable individuals for the economy to flourish.

Three things necessary to leverage human capital:

1) Educate and train: Develop a skill-based pedagogy in educational institutions in tune with industry needs.

2) Innovate: Help trigger a research-based approach to everything

3) Invest: In every sector to create the required number of jobs