enhanced focus on minimising school dropouts/ enhancing success rate and targeting higher GNER in higher education. Thus the problem is likely to get more complex in the years to come and therefore requires a careful analysis of the situation at hand.
While it is true that a large majority of our 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