Need to promote apprenticeship to develop high skill levels: Hindustan Unilever Chairman, MD Sanjiv Mehta

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Mumbai | November 14, 2019 6:35 PM

"Paradoxically a higher educated youth with a post-graduation or skilled degree is prone to six times more unemployed today," Mehta said at the 9th National HR Conclave organised by the CII here.

apprenticeship, Hindustan Unilever, Unemployment, Unemployment rate in indiaIntegration of man and machines call for different skilling of people and organisations have to use skilling to retain, strengthen and building teams for furthering their competitive advantage, Mehta said.

There is a need to promote apprenticeship approach in a big way to develop and sustain high skill levels, Hindustan Unilever chairman and managing director Sanjiv Mehta said on Thursday. “Unemployment rate is much higher in 15-29 years of age than those above 30 years. Paradoxically a higher educated youth with a post-graduation or skilled degree is prone to six times more unemployed today,” Mehta said at the 9th National HR Conclave organised by the CII here.

He said, forging partnerships academia and research institutions are necessary for promoting innovation as it is done in the US. “For building these partnerships, India has to go up quite a few notches in building this partnership. The country has to promote the apprenticeship approach in a big way to develop and sustain high skill levels in line with Japan and Germany,” he added.

With technological advancements, robots have become part of several processes, he said adding “you cannot ask a private enterprise not to be productive.” Integration of man and machines call for different skilling of people and organisations have to use skilling to retain, strengthen and building teams for furthering their competitive advantage, Mehta said. Mehta said, “organisations have to evolve an environment that is conducive for tech-savvy millennials as they are expected to form 50 per cent of the workforce soon.”

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He also opined that the education system should address the present-day skill needs. “Unlearning (old skills) and re-learning of new skills would be required at a time when new technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics and internet of things (IoT) are taking over some of the critical functions in today’s organisations. In India forging partnerships between academia and research institutions is necessary for promoting innovation as it is done in the US,” he added.

Raymond Lifestyle Business CEO and CII National Committee on Leadership and HR Chairman Sanjay Behl, who was also present on the occasion, said to take advantage of the demographic dividend that the country is enjoying the industry has to create enough employment opportunities for the millennials.

However, Behl said, the statistics bear out a grim situation. “There are 374 million Indians between 10 to 24 years of age today, half of them drop out before class 10. Nearly a million millennials are turning 18 every year and start looking for employment. However, the jobs are scarce,” he added.

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