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Skill Gap Is The Real Cause Of High Unemployment: Aakash Sethi, Executive Director, Quest Alliance

Aakash Sethi, Executive Director, Quest Alliance talks about the 'Skills for future jobs' - Technology and the future of jobs in India

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Quest Alliance, in partnership with Tandem Research and supported by Microsoft Philanthropies, released a white paper on the future of jobs and skilling in India, in the wake of rapid automation and digitization of life and work.

in an interview, Aakash Sethi, Executive Director, Quest Alliance talks about the  'Skills for future jobs' - Technology and the future of jobs in India.

What is the hiring outlook for employees in different sectors in the new financial year?

Organizations across the sector expect 10 to 15 percent of increasing hiring from last year to this year. This year the white paper on the future of skills has laid special focus on future jobs and the impact of automation to understand how they see jobs evolving in response to technology and innovation. The results are astounding; as 69 percent people clearly foresee the impact of automation. Adding to this, 24 percent employers indicate analytics and 15 percent foresee Artificial Intelligence as the emerging jobs.

Banking, Financial Services, BPO, KPO, ITES, Insurance and Retail Sector project a strong rebound in hiring numbers with a growth of 10-15 percent as compared to the 2017.

Consumer goods & Durables, Core Sector (Oil & Gas, Power, Steel & Minerals etc), Software, Hardware & IT will witness a moderate growth in hiring numbers, above 0-5 percent this year as compared to 2017.

Domain Wise Employment Opportunities percentage:- (February’2018 data)

Undergraduates                                                                            14

ITI                                                                                                  7%

Polytechnic                                                                                    4%

Graduation or Euivalent                                                                 24%

Management and Post Graduation                                               19%

Post-Graduation                                                                            10%

Engineering or Euivalent                                                               22%

What has been lacking in the job market; job creation or the skills in the job seekers?

Skill and employability go hand on hand. Skill gap is the real cause of high unemployable population. The skill gap is not only leading to unemployment but several other social economic challenges in the country. The data shows that 60 percent of students are employable or all ready to take up jobs. In our work sphere of ITI and polytechnic youth employability is challenge. Low employability of ITI and polytechnic youth is due to limited focus on industry partnerships, outdated curriculum and limited focus on faculty development. There is also a gap in terms of expectations of youth and parents. There has also been limited jobs that are being created especially in the services and manufacturing sector.  

Most people aspire for government jobs whereas the opportunity exists in private jobs and self employment.   

How important is apprenticeship for job prospects for job seekers?

Apprenticeship is critical for real world knowledge but only if it's well planned and we'll expand which needs wholehearted participation from the industry.   Businesses being forced to take apprentices could lead to badly planned apprentice programs where the young person doesn't learn much about the job or the industry.

Employers are much more likely to hire candidates who have completed an apprenticeship rather than candidates without any experience which helps the candidates to set foundation for career gaining insight about their field. Hands-on training gives a real chance to put the skills into practice and helps to gain more confidence in a working environment.

How has the job market changed with technology?

Many qualified observers feel that technology, especially automation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, will drastically reduce the number of available jobs in the near future – perhaps within 20 years. Artificial intelligence in language/data, 3D printing, Internet of Things in goods/manufacturing/labour and Internet/computing in knowledge/education are rapidly evolving technology spaces where the comfort levels in using them needs to keep pace to stay professionally relevant

What are the top trends in recruitment industry?

As per 2018 Report there is quite some good news from the demand side, as the companies show a revival in their hiring intent. As per India Hiring intent survey, organisations across sectors expect 10-15 percent of increase in hiring from 2017 to this year. While Retail, Banking & Financial services and Insurance sectors are expecting increase in pace of hiring, sectors like ITES, Software, Hardware and IT also foresee a moderate change in hiring Numbers.

How important is diversity in workplace?

Women's participation in the labour force is consistently declining and unless we bring it up by leaps we'll not be able to achieve maximum possible growth of the economy. Research around the world extensively talks about how higher female participation in the labour force has a direct impact on GDP.

Indian government and corporate are trying hard to get women such as increase in maternity leave, flexi work hour for women, making facility mandatory for employer employing 50 employees. Despite this initiative the working women population has significantly decrease over the last year.













Tags assigned to this article:
jobs skill gap unemployment employment diversity