Right skills for the right job – isn’t this what continuous skill development is all about? Are you in the right job that suits your knowledge and skills? Or is there a mismatch between your skills and what your are expected to perform on the job?
The other day my friend and I got into an interesting discussion about the employment scenario in India, specifically with reference to questions of employability and the need for vocational training. My friend shared some rather disturbing facts about how it goes:
According to the National Sample Survey’s most recent estimate (2014), only 18% of those who have passed out of these vocational schools have regular jobs. About 60% of this 18% are employed as informal workers because their caps don’t fit the organised sector. What about the remaining 82% who do not have ‘regular jobs’, either formal or informal?
Let’s remember the fact that 30% of the umemployed are actually graduates and above.
There’s no doubt that skilling gets all the priority. And, partly a segment of the skilled workforce especially in the category of manual and technical skills is provided by ITIs, ITCs, polytechnics – the major vocational training institutes in India. Why is that only 18% of these pass-outs get into regular jobs. One of the reasons for this imbalance is the mismatch between what they learn in their vocational curriculum and its relevance to the industry. Also, vocational courses should have on-the-job training opportunities where the learners face several real-life situations and learn to handle them with the help of qualified trainers and industry experts.
What about non-manual category of skills? Do the qualified graduates and post graduates have relevant skills to perform the job?
Looking back, we see that our excessive focus on academic side of learning has proved detrimental to linking education with employment. It is true that even highly qualified such as MBAs and Ph.Ds need appropriate skills training when they hit the job market. One set of skills may get us the job, but we may need a different set to sustain and grow in our professions. So go ahead and get the right skills for the right job!