youth lack the right skills to enter the workforce and we need to see a significant expansion in all sectors to accommodate the increasingly more educated talent pool, it is also true that lack of ‘employability’ does not mean that all of them are ‘unemployed’ currently. A careful examination of the youth graduating from the higher education system would indicate that while a small percentage gets absorbed directly in their aspirational jobs immediately upon completion of their academic studies, the rest either undergo further training to acquire specialised qualifications in pursuit of their aspirational jobs or take up jobs for some time that pay them less than industry average.
Within two to three years, a large number of these candidates find a suitable fit and change their jobs. In other words, the desired training or skill development takes place during this period and prepares them for their aspirational jobs with the sectors they are interested in. These observations are based on insights derived by working closely with the industry and the academic system and perhaps an in-depth study would be useful to establish these facts with more certainty.
In view of the above situation, a new approach to the duration and outcome of higher education could be considered. Firstly, we need a thorough assessment of all round capability and potential of a student whilst the second year of academic studies, to establish the sectors and roles for which he/she could be considered. Based on this assessment, the group identified for potential absorption by the industry, upon completing the academic studies, may be provided with required skill sets for being considered for their aspirational jobs.
The other group may be put through a stretched academic process with additional duration that includes internship of one to two years, rigorous skills training and also job rotation so as to be able to equip these candidates with the required capabilities that would be embraced by the industry. Since the industry is keen to look at the skills and fitness for roles and is not so much concerned about the extra time candidates have taken to acquire the capabilities, this approach will enable the candidates to systematically plan their career readiness. It is also necessary to ensure that students do not end up going after the ‘known career options’ alone and enough awareness is created amongst them on the choice of several new careers that are available, their