In Modi’s New India: 70% youth unaware of skill development programmes

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according to a “Young India and Work” study by the Observer Research Foundation and World Economic Forum.
according to a “Young India and Work” study by the Observer Research Foundation and World Economic Forum.

Seventy per cent of youth are unaware of government-run skill development programmes in their area, yet more than seventy per cent are very interested in pursuing skills training, according to a “Young India and Work” study by the Observer Research Foundation and World Economic Forum.

The findings, released this week, sheds light on a disconnect between youth sentiments and government’s skill development programme. The study surveyed a random sample of almost 6,000 youth between 15 and 30 about employment and aspirations.

The low training participation — roughly three-fourths of the youth have never enrolled in a skills development programme — was mostly due to financial barriers and time constraints, with each category cited by a third of youth respondents.

In fact, a half of females between 26 and 30 years cited a lack of time inhibiting their programme enrollment, and more than three-fourths of all female youth were unaware of government-run skill development programmes around them.

The study not only sheds light on potential misalignment between youth and government, but with youth and industry as well. Sixty per cent said that these industry mismatches could be mended by government action and economic policies.

Viewing the findings with a recent ORF-WEF survey of companies, the industry expects less growth in the fields that youth prefer: human resources and recruitment, training and development, and social media. A quarter of youth would like administrative and support service jobs, a fifth go for research and development, and around 15 per cent chose creative, human resources, and information technology. Half of the youth would prefer a government sector job, while only 23 per cent want a private sector job.

IT, communications, and telecommunications emerged as the largest employer of youth at 17 per cent, with almost 30 per cent stating they were not satisfied with their job and a little over half being moderately satisfied. That being said, those in this field did choose it as the industry they would most like to work in.

Furthering the disconnect, youth were willing to move for work, but companies emphasized recruiting locally. Even more, while over three-fourths of youth rely on Internet and media for employment information, only 14 per cent of firms use online recruitment.

 

The numbers show some gender biases. The only fields hiring more women than men were education and training, academia and research, and healthcare, each at roughly double the percentage. While a third say they have faced discrimination because of marital status, gender, age, or family, far more women reported this than men.

Respondents felt fairly prepared for their jobs, but more women felt less prepared. And yet, over a third of youth between 15 to 30 years of age were not employed or in education, the most stark being the half of females between 26 and 30 that are not in employment nor education.

Those who had jobs leaned towards dissatisfaction but youth seemed neither optimistic nor pessimistic about opportunities.

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