India is witnessing a widening chasm between education, training and employment. Despite the complex web of government schemes and non-profit, for-profit, and public institutions that provide training, the incidence of formal training remains low at less than 4%, which can be bridged with the rise in apprenticeship in the country, says the latest findings by TeamLease Services.
The human resource firm, in its ‘India Employability Report’, said that for India to scale up to 10 million apprentices in 10 years, it is required that all training be eventually employer-led through apprenticeships.
Also, it must be an incremental process beginning with degree-linked apprenticeships, the governance architecture of apprenticeships must be streamlined, and mandate that universities, colleges, standalone institutions should make provisions for an apprenticeship programme, among other recommendations.
India currently has only 500,000 apprentices, which constitutes 0.11% of the pool of apprentices worldwide. “With these reforms, we will not only ramp up our apprenticeship adoption, but we will also get closer to what is already happening in Europe, China and Japan — countries that have pioneered apprenticeships over the decade,” the report said.
Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and executive director, TeamLease Services, said that India has the largest heterogeneous youth cohort of 371 million, with close to 3.5% youth joining the workforce every year. However, India is also seeing rising unemployment and underemployment concerns.
“Unemployment rate in India went from 2.3% in 2009 to 5.8% in 2018 and youth unemployment rate is at 12.9%. Incidentally, from those who are unemployed, 16% are graduate degree holders and over 14% are post graduate degree students. All of this indicates a significant mismatch between what the world of work needs and what our youth knows,” she said.
According to the report, providing quality education, training and employment to our massive youth cohort is an adventurous task. Furthermore, with social economic challenges of the candidates coupled with an education system which is more focused on the supply front over learning outcomes, the journey becomes even more challenging.
The findings undertaken, along with JustJobs Network, highlight that supply-side focus of training does not align with the demands of the job market. While large and growing youth population needs good jobs to harness their productive potential, businesses also need a workforce that is equipped to meet the growing and changing demands of markets, said the report.
“Apprenticeships can help bridge these gaps, resulting in better outcomes for youth, but also good return on investment for employers by significantly reducing the cost of hiring, imparting need-based skills, and expanding the pool of potential hires”, said Sabina Dewan, president and executive director, JustJobs Network.