Friday, October 30, 2020
Editorial

Improve employability

Skill empowerment is enabling market-oriented and required skills to make youth employable gainfully. That means it is a necessary condition for gainful employment in an economy. It can also make a person contribute his own labour, intellectual as well as physical to his own business rather than work for somebody. Over the years, governments have initiated many schemes to boost skill empowerment and self-employment of our youths. We have lived through initiatives like year of youth empowerment, year of farmers, etc but nothing seems to have made any difference in the lot of our youth. There is also Prime Ministers Employment Generation Programme for both rural and urban areas. It is very unfortunate that successive governments have failed to impart appropriate skills and training to youth which has resulted in gaps and mismatches in the national and international job markets. Apart from self-employment schemes, the government also designed skill empowerment schemes for providing necessary skills and knowledge to youth so that they can seek employment and placement in the market alongside gaining suitable skills. Further, in different departments, many skill or employment-related schemes are operating for providing jobs and skills to the unemployed youth in general and educated unemployed youth in particular. But the problem is that instead of spending money on skill empowerment and training they spend substantial amounts on vast administrative outlays and other unproductive means. Money is being spent on infrastructure development, managing staff, bonuses, and huge salaries of top managers, etc. Therefore, these sectoral initiatives failed severely. Also low educated and rural people are unaware of these schemes and their benefits. The livestock and handicrafts are highly labour-intensive sectors with their ability to accommodate poor and absorb large pool of skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled workers. Both sectors are very important for skill empowerment. Livestock has the potential to improve agricultural income and output. The government should encourage investments in agriculture and its allied areas such as dairy farming, poultry farming, and better technology for good fodder to strengthen the economy by increasing income and employment of the people and attracting private investments. In fact, in our state the livestock business is both profitable and easy to start a business which is why it demands better ideas and skills. We are famous for handicrafts sector with a fine tradition of craftsman. But the problem associated with this sector is that the income earned by the craftsman is of subsistence level which is why they are underperforming as they get disheartened and demotivated. Also, we find underperformance in this sector as a result of many factors such as lack of strong branding, old designs, stiff competition from low-cost machine-made goods, and a large number of intermediaries. The rich business class associated with this sector is minting money at the cost of the skills and crafts of low-income craftsman. With the result, the handicraft sector hardly finds young energetic people because experienced craftsmen don’t involve their children in this sector. Budding craftsman and entrepreneurs do not try to make it as their carrier. The traditional business progresses if it is involved with young skilled blood at regular intervals of time. In pandemic times when the movement has been restricted it is very necessary to revitalize our traditional sectors, especially livestock and handicrafts. All the bottlenecks have to be removed and we should impart better and job-oriented skills to our youth so that they progress. Keeping in view the bad political economy and COVID-19 shock, possibilities and opportunities have to be carved out for absorption and adjustment of the youth by way of creating cost-effective self-employment and skill development prospects in both government and private sector. The growth model of public-private partnership (PPP) is suitable way out in which private sectors will provide a helping hand to government for undertaking productive development projects by sharing profits. Our economy has a large pool of talent and human resource that is educated but unemployed due to many reasons. But, lack of appropriate job skills, soft skills, life skills, and practical knowledge are important reasons. It is very essential to engage youth in skill development tasks for improving employment prospects, and for that we must invite different departments of the state (core in particular) and successful companies to join hands with (and help) educational institutions. This will for sure improve employability per year and adjust youth in different sectors of the economy.