Are we really skill deficient? If yes, how do we recover out of it?
Skill deficiency here refers to the lack or absence of necessary skills, or knowledge which is mandatory for carrying out one’s job or professional duties. The major reasons behind skill deficiency in the Indian youth are outdated education system, both at the primary and at higher/professional education level and fast-changing technology.Outdated Education System does not prepare students according to the current industrial needs. Changing technology demands continuous honing of skills.
Although, After the Introduction of Right To Education(RTE), the enrolment of students has increased as compared to earlier. But, the quality of education is still the lame duck. Annual Stats of Education Report for 2017 states that 25% respondents in the age group of 14-18 were not able to read the text fluently in their own language. Survey also highlighted the inability of respondents to perform simple division. The survey further tested the ability of application of skills in the daily lives( like counting, money, telling time and following basic instructions)and the result does not require any guesses. In absence of application of skills, even the best one would fade, forget it’s improvement. Indian educational system is more concentrated on acquiring of skills, not on its application.
Lack of good education in the formative years makes us devoid of logical ability, clarity in thoughts and integrity at work. How many of us have been insisted to attend or punished for not attending moral science aka value education in schools? No doubt, employers are raising serious doubts about integrity and professional ethics of their employees. All the listed traits that are missed in basic education would have made them better entrepreneurs or better employable.The IT sector is reporting huge talent shortage of about 36%, which means vacant positions, missed deliveries hence loss of current and prospective business. Their demands from recent pass-out students are simple, be logical with a learning attitude and basic work ethics. I guess I made my point to an extent.
Higher but worthless education only reduces the chances of employability. It adds the social stigma of taking inferior jobs and at the same time raises the compensation expectation for no good reasons, believe me. Ultimately it is the skill and its application that earn you marketable value i.e. salary and perks.
Although, there is a huge emphasis on apprenticeships and internships now. But, the high unemployability numbers make the change look too very slow, almost inefficient. Lack of efficient basic education as mentioned above also adds to its failure.
I believe the apparent changes to be made to made to make the Indian Youth more employable would majorly count:
1) Early Training And Education
Early childhood education is the key to the better foundational skills. The education system must be made up to date and flexible.
2) Teachers/Faculty Training
Teachers/faculty must also receive regular formal training, industry and independent educational counselors can play a very important role here.
3) Quantity v/s Quality
Quality of the education must be the point of focus rather than quantity. The emphasis shall be laid on making the education more research and application oriented. The professional education should focus more on real case studies and simulation of techniques.
4) Industry and Academia Partnership
The syllabus must be regularly updated keeping in mind the current requirements of the industry. The big and mid-size industries shall have a dedicated resource to train and guide the academia on their requirements. The most important here is the seriousness of efforts of both the stakeholders.
5) Professional Career Guidance
Most of the Indian youth are clueless about their career paths till their later teens. Schools must take up the initiative of guiding their students. Creativity among students must be sponsored. Seminars and individual counseling of students can also be organized to increase awareness among students.
6) Parent Education
Schools must also include parents as a part of their education family. Parent education can help in improving parenting skills. Parents must support their child’s career choices rather than pressing their own decisions on them.
7) Apprenticeship and Internships
Corporate Training can provide insights into the industry. It further helps the students understand the real demands of assigned jobs. Companies can start specialized programs that help in enhancing the soft skills and personality of the candidate.
The government, educational institutes, and companies must work together in shaping and be evolving the otherwise outdated educational system.Entrepreneurship must be initiated but in the real sense. The youth with ideas should be mentored, incubated and provided all sorts of financial and technical assistance to make the idea successful.
Indian youth must not be a bait of skill deficiency. India may never again in future receive such a huge asset. The most important element of demographic dividend is the age of citizens of the country. Japan and China used it most effectively to their advantage. The slow growth of Japan now and to some extent of China is depicting the impact of age of population on the economic growth of the nation.
SkillMirror is committed to skilling the youth and making them more employable. Our efforts are to bridge the gap between industry and academia. We are also investing in the skilling of youth with the help of our training partners. Join us as professionals, colleges, employers, individual trainers, training Institutes to learn more about our endeavors.