The third episode of the NSN Connect 2022 series broadly focused on the world of work and the gig economy.
NSN Connect 2022 on Re-igniting the skilling landscape in India is an initiative by Team NSN to learn about these areas. The esteemed guest of the eight-episode series is Mr. Rajesh A R, CEO, LabourNet who is a thought leader and domain expert who will share his experience and expertise on various aspects that are crucial to re-ignite the skilling landscape in India.
Here is the excerpt from the third episode. To watch the full episode, please visit our YouTube channel.
Post-COVID 19, informal sector and outcome-based payment
The post-COVID 19 scenarios have changed life in the last 12-18 months in the way we work and plan for work. Today, the work from home concept is the headline that counts for only five to ten percent of the workforce. Workers like plumbers, electricians and the majority of the informal sector cannot do work from home and so the world of work has changed for them. They need to look after the elements of technology, mobility restrictions and ensure continuity of wages.
As per the gig economy is concerned, India was always a gig economy based and we hardly have 10-20 percent of the working population who gets monthly wages. The rest of them are getting paid on outcome-based as the world got popularised as gig economy – a new age phenomenon.
Interpretations of the gig economy, gig jobs
There is a misconception that the gig economy is mostly seen as an entry-level or lower-level kind of job but there are people who are earning a lot more in the gig economy type of jobs. There are delivery boys who are earning on an hourly outcome basis which is a target-based work. The gig economy proves that it is not only for people at the lowest level but also the kind of work done in the creative industry like a music director, cinematographer and so on.
Mindset, attitude and security in the new world of work
The government jobs are looked like the most secured job even today due to three aspects:
- Security of work – the belief that you will not get fired and have a life-long employment
- Social recognition – society is built in a way that you are more respected and valued if you are a government employee.
- Financial recognition – as the income of a government employee is secure, banks do not hesitate to lend money.
Since the gig economy is considered a white-collared job, there is a sense of recognition that comes around but for jobs like electrician or plumber, these aspects do not appear. An electrician/plumber do not have a surety of monthly wage and hence, not enough social recognition.
World of work between generations
During our parent’s generation, most of them were government employees who has the security of work but as the generations are changing, the concept of the world of work has also changed. In the new changed environment, the degree we studied and the job we are holding is totally different.
We need to get reskilled in order to switch jobs to the gig economy world.
Social security of gig workers
Social security is a very critical part of the code which the government is trying to implement. It is specifically targeted at the gig workers. The government is proposing a certain social security fund for the well-being of platform and gig workers. Under this code, a platform company or an aggregator needs to contribute around one per cent of the revenue to a platform or gig worker through the social security fund. A gig worker might also have to contribute to this fund for the benefits of health cover, maternity cover and more.
Also Read: Re-igniting the Skilling Landscape in India – Episode 2 – Unlocking youth aspirations and NEP 2020 https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/nsn-connect-2022-re-igniting-the-skilling-landscape-in-india-episode-2/
Three action items
- Parental society mindset – The mindset that monthly wages give you the financial security or need to be broken. We have to ignite the students in an entrepreneurial way and re-align that there is a world of work other than monthly wage kind of jobs.
- In terms of the concept of 10+ 2+3 – There has to be continuity of learning.
- Information is available everywhere – We need to interpret the information available in Google to make our earnings better. It is a skill that we need to start imbibing right from the school level and reinforce the skill continuously to reach the aspirational income.
These three action points are important to explore new-age careers and explore social security for gig workers. We have seen how the notion of gig economy was common in India to which today, skilling acquires totally different dimension along with education that has to work integrated.