Youth employment a `high-priority agenda`: PM

PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that youth employment is a "high-priority agenda" of his government.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Tuesday said that youth employment is a "high-priority agenda"
of his government but felt the infrastructure for the skill-
development of young people is "progressing slower".

"Youth employment is a high-priority agenda item for our
government...We need to provide opportunities for gainful
employment to the large number of young people who enter the
work force every year," Singh said.

In his inaugural address at the 44th session of Indian
Labour Conference, the Prime Minister emphasised the need
for skill development of the young people.

"This can happen only if we equip our young people with
skills that are required to meet the demands of our rapidly
growing economy," he said.

Maintaining that the rapid growth of Indian economy since
2004 has clearly brought out shortcomings of the country`s
skill development processes, he said, "Today, availability of
skills is possibly the single-most important constraint to
rapid industrial growth."

Noting that the process of expanding skill development
infrastructure is progressing slower in the country that he
had hoped after the government launched Skill Development
Mission, Singh urged the private sector to chip in with more

"The private sector would need to engage itself much more
vigorously in these efforts if we are to overcome this massive
challenge. Poor students must find it financially viable to
learn a skill rather than take up a job prematurely. This
requires that industry and government should work together to
ensure that such students are adequately financed," he said.

Reiterating that his government stands committed to
creating a regime of economic management which will usher in
more job opportunities, Singh said, "But job opportunities can
come only if the economy is expanding, and expanding fast


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