Instead of beginning with the same mundane way of penning down my article, here I would like to share a small incident which at second level intrigued me to write on this crucial issue. (*Here, first level credits goes to the man behind this amazing website).

Here, it goes, while sipping a medium cup of coffee at one of the cafes in South Delhi, I observed a group of 3-4 youngsters probably college students or pass-outs, they must be of around 22 or 23 years of age. I somehow overheard their conversation from my table as the place was not that much crowded with people. The thing which took my attention to their conversation was ‘job chahiye hai yaar’, their further conversations gave me an understanding that they were looking for a job and in this process were facing various issues. Even one of them quoted that despite studying from good college, they were unable to get a suitable employment from them. While this was one of the incident, the other problem which I constantly keep on listening from my friends these days is dissatisfaction with their jobs/current employment due to low salary, boss concerns, timings, work pressure etc.

The conclusion of all this build up was to stress upon the situation that there are two problems which our youth is facing, firstly getting a job and secondly keeping the job. In the initial period, people begin with great enthusiasm, however with time they loose interest in their job and thus start hunting new job. Question which arises here is, is there something called perfect job? If this is not true then how come there are people who are working at one organization from past 10-15 years or more. Anyways, this was just a build up behind a major concern emerging in our nation which is EVER RISING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT. Although, Indian economy is growing more than twice as fast as the rest of the world but the story on job creation and youth employment fronts is just the opposite.

India has its two-thirds of its 1.2bn people under the age of 35, which is infact the world’s largest youth population — something that is both a blessing and a curse for the nation. The question which needs to be addressed here is why this rising youth population is curse. This happens when this rising population is not employed into productive sectors due to lack of requisite skills, this population becomes burden for the nation. Therefore, it becomes essential to reap the demographic dividend this rising population offer by providing them with right education and skills so that they can maximise their productive contribution.

Despite an increase in general education levels, the youth unemployment situation continues to be a major challenge. As in other countries, youth are far more vulnerable to being unemployed in India, particularly in urban areas. In 2011-12, the youth unemployment rate reached a maximum of 18.8 per cent for urban women aged 20-24 and 12.8 per cent for young urban men aged 15-19. By comparison, the unemployment rate for rural youth peaked at 6.3 per cent for young women aged 20-24 and 8.9 per cent for young men aged 15-19.

Another important concern raised in this article is that 95% youth in developing nations including India work in informal economy. According to International Labour Organization’s recent Report, as many as 19 in every 20 young men and women work in the informal setups in the developing economies, compared with adult workers, which shows that globally 76.7 per cent of working youth are in informal jobs, compared with 57.9 per cent of working adults.

Further, the report noted that India along with countries like Tanzania and Zambia have an extremely low prevalence of formal wage employment; in all three countries, fewer than one in ten young workers are in wage employment with a contract. However, whereas in Tanzania and Zambia almost all youth and adult employment is vulnerable. In India, almost half of all young workers are employed as wage labourers, without a written contract.

Another statistics by Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that over 30% of youth aged 15-29 in India are not in employment, education or training (NEETs). This is more than double the OECD average and almost three times that of China.

The understanding which I get from the above mentioned data sources is that since youth lacks the respective skill sets required for the job, they are unable to get themselves employed in the productive sectors which lead to unemployment. Out of this unemployed population, few resort to informal sector which leads to exploitation while rest keep on raising the bar of NEETs.

Here, the intervention which is required immediately is bridging the ‘skill gap’ since this is one of the major reason for youth unemployment not just in India but globally as well. If the youth is skilled with the right skill sets as desired by the companies which they aspire to work, it can solve the problem of unemployment upto an extent. Thus, it becomes essential to strengthen the university-industry linkage right from the beginning to bring a major change. In India, Government is working through its various skill development programmes, however, an active and speedy process along with efficient monitoring system is required to tackle the nuisance of youth unemployment in India.

A recent gyaan which I got from one of the event which I attended recently related to job and employment, what I would like convey to the readers of this article is that youth unemployment is a major challenge and here, it is our responsibility as well to get this sorted. Thus, before getting into any job, it is advised to follow these important parameters in the given order ONLY before deciding to land at some place: 1) Job profile: What is actually the work I would be doing. 2) Future: What lies for me in this company in the coming times, future prospects etc. 3) Money: Obviously the compensation. I am sure if this is kept in mind before taking up any job, it would definitely solve the problem of dissatisfaction to some extent.

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