Margaret Thatcher in 1984 said – “Young people ought not to be idle. It is very bad for them.”
Well, if our young generation is not working, it is bad not only for them but the whole economy. With unemployed youth, our country is losing one entire generation. It is always heartening to see well-educated youth applying for jobs which are far lower than their academic credentials. It raises a question of whether there is a problem in our academic structure or is our country unable to provide them jobs. I don’t think that there is a problem in our country, but there must be some problem that is so deep-rooted that it is rendering all the efforts by the government of India useless. Many learned people have suggested that some of the factors that contribute to unemployment are – (1) increasing population (2) decreasing job opportunities (3) lack of skills.
Well, I don’t agree with all the arguments being given. If I just type in google about government jobs, there are more than 1,00,000 jobs that are posted. Every year at least 25% of them remain unfilled, then where is unemployment? It still confuses me.
The problem in the country is not that of unemployment but the lack of appropriate skills. In India, a majority of young people opt for engineering. Millions of engineers graduate every year, but how can a country be supposed to provide jobs only in one field? Engineers have started working in many different career options such as teaching, administration, accountancy, etc. but still, there are many more career options where engineers can’t work. Instead of crying about unemployment, this is the time to tackle this loose foundation our young generation is based upon. It’s high time we guide our young generation about different career options that they can have. Career guidance should be provided to them at the right time. If instead of a majority of the youth going for engineering, we distribute them according to the skills that they have, a strong workforce can be created to serve the country.
The Nordic countries which have always represented the best model in terms of employment have provided its youth with “personalised career plan” to help them gain the appropriate skills, training and then employment. This is to be understood that degrees alone can’t guarantee long-term employment to our youth, they need to be skilled accordingly. There are in total 3,345 engineering colleges in the country from where every year 14,73,871 engineers graduate. However, a study conducted by Aspiring Minds found that barely 7% of engineers are employable and they too are mainly from top national level engineering colleges. The reason is simple: not all students fit into the engineering stream.
A study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers stated that to meet the increasing health care demands in the country, India still needs more than 30 lakh doctors. Currently, the number of doctors and paramedics is much below the required number. Parents still think that courses like fashion designing and interior designing are for those who are academically challenged even when it is far difficult to get admission in designing schools such as NIFT. Students apply for the courses of Merchant Navy only to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and not because they believe in it, and no doubt a significant number of them get disqualified. A great many students who otherwise could have done amazingly well in some other course end up doing engineering and become an average student. In such a situation, how can we expect all the engineers to get jobs?
One, these young people are not fit for the jobs, they are just average. Second, there are not as many jobs in one single career field. This is the time when we should think about the issue deeply and diffuse students as per their skills. If a student is good in research, he should be sent for research instead of engineering. There is a need for assessing students’ skills and giving them career advice before they select any career for them based on limited information.
I agree this cannot solve the issue of unemployment completely, but definitely, it can decrease the burden on engineering sector and other sectors can also get access to skilled resources. Students instead of remaining average in engineering can perform extremely well in a career field which matches their inherent skills!