Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Employability problem

Without a doubt the problem of unemployment in Nagaland has surpassed reasonable limits. As unemployment increases, so does the poverty. As poverty increases, so does frustration intensify among the youths? Here we are also aware that many of our youths are unskillful and hence are jobless. Today majority of our youth are finding it increasingly difficult to get jobs. On this front, we are facing a unique situation. While unemployment is a visible scar in our state, a huge chain of skilled and unskilled work force from outside the state finds work here. What this situation reveals to us? A straightforward approach leads us to a stunning fact that the skill profile of our youth is not what the market requires. So there is a gap between what the market needs and what we supply. Hence, in traditional sense, it’s the problem of unemployment. But in modern outlook, it’s basically more a grave problem of employability. Today, equipping the workforce with the skills required for the jobs of today and those of tomorrow is a huge concern. We lack robust strategies to bail out ourselves out of the skill deficit economy. Too much of emphasis on conventional education system has, wittingly or unwittingly, overlapped the significance of skill development of our youth. New occupations are emerging and replacing others at a lightning speed. Within each occupation, required skills and competencies are evolving, widening the horizon of skill deficit. Ironically we have been ignoring that ultimately the prosperity of a nation depends on how many of its people are in work and how productive they are, which in turn rests on the skills they have and how effectively those skills are used. Precisely, skills are a foundation of prosperous nation. There’s another aspect tagged to lack of skills. It’s thought to be one of the key determinants of main social problems like poverty and crime, which curbs overall economic growth. The problem of employability owing to lack of skillful workforce raises some important questions – Is the scramble to study 10+2, BA, B.Com or B.Sc worth it? In today’s context what is the relevance of a BA, B.Com or B.Sc or even any post graduate degree? It may suit a few, but overall it has very little relevance. The point is that vocational training is a crucial constituent to link competences of our youth with market needs. Vocational education and training should be treated as an important element of education initiative. The government should take this matter seriously. A public private partnership model can be also created to train youth in latest skills and secure a job. However, vocational training should match the needs of fast changing and evolving markets and economies to help youth to step into more productive and sustainable jobs. No one can deny that unemployment shakes the confidence of the youth and they easily fall prey to anti-social elements. Trapped and encircled by these wolves, they are being made to indulge in activities detrimental to the society like drug trafficking, contraband trade, burglary and other vices just for earning their living. Hence lot of energy of the exuberant youth is not only wasted and made unproductive but even the very fabric of the society is damaged beyond repair. The time has come when one and all, especially the politicians who are at the helm of affairs of the state, should be open, frank and honest and tell truth to the youth that the avenues of jobs in the government and public sector are so limited that they have to think about introduction and expansion of number of industrial units in the state. A healthy and fair industrial policy is the need of the hour and urgently required for the state to absorb and engage the educated youth in gainful and productive activities. Sky is the limit in our state for such units, like, to name a few, agriculture, horticulture, building construction material, food and other eatables, tourism, handicrafts, etc. What is required is motivation, respect for workers, finance on low interest rates, security and protection to the people doing the job sincerely and honestly. Let all be open on this issue and sincerely discuss and talk to the unemployed youth without mincing words and avoid making false promises for providing government jobs. Instead, involve the whole civil society for evolving a better, transparent, efficient and effective industrial policy for the state so as to guarantee shinning future for our youth.