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IS YOUNG INDIA JOB READY?
The real purpose of education is to make youth socially responsible, economically viable and emotionally balanced. But the truth be told that industry perceives that 65 to 70 per cent degree holders do not possess employability conditions. However, neither the industry has clearly specified the factors that decide these numbers nor has mentioned the criteria or the required skills in an un ambiguous manner.
Having been on the recruiting panel of defence services in my military career and now for over a decade involved with hiring in corporate world, I hold a firm conviction that much is desired to prepare our youth for skills that Gandhi termed as education for life along with education for living.
The current economic crisis has further augmented the problem of employment in India. Our country which was already facing an ‘unemployed growth’ has suddenly been pushed into a job recession scenario in recent years. According to the latest data, India’s jobless rate rested at 8.63% per cent in December 2022 which is a thing of grave concern in a country that boasts of 65 % youth population below 35 years of age.
In my opinion, not only have job opportunities lessened courtesy AI, but the nature of jobs has also undergone a dramatic change in last decade or so in the world. Greater digital representation of work, paramount shift in buying behaviours and the volatile markets have given rise to the need for multiple skill sets among the younger generation looking for job opportunities. Therefore, with the changing landscape of recruitment, influence of technology and a very dynamic and fast changing market, job readiness is something that can be the differentiator between job search and job seeking.
Though, the job readiness covers a plethora of factors, the important ones that can be summarised are just three. Number one, understanding your job. It really should be an obvious thing but it is alarming that many aspirants do not have an iota of understanding of the role they are to perform within organisations. This means that they also are not aware of what skills are needed to be acquired for the job today or, in the future to be able to continue to effectively perform their role.
Number two is development of the skill sets to suit the job profile. That is, identifying the gaps and areas of development and articulating it with appropriate skill sets to bridge the existing gaps. One glaring thing that is irksome is that job hunters are not able to demonstrate during an interview that they have the skills required to immediately transition in to a role they are being interviewed for.
And lastly, the most important one is the expertise of presentation and communication which holds key to your success at the interview. If one can reflect understanding of the role and the level of professionalism coupled with personal etiquettes and communicational proficiency, well, the job is within reach.
To be honest, I would say that in present day, job readiness is more important than ever before in the corporate world. Competition is fierce and employers have become less willing to invest in learning and development of their employees as it is not costeffective and employee turnover reduces return on investment. In such a scheme, the students should realise that there is little correlation between having a degree and being qualified for a job.
My advice to all would be to evolve and flourish with the cutting edge of competitive job skills to promote professional career. Even if a candidate is not sure about the choice of career, pursuing a few qualities that are universally desired by employers and which are termed as transferable skills may allow for exploration of job options in times to come. Every job needs different expertise, yet, the employers seek out candidates with transferable skills like team work & strategic thinking because they showcase applicant’s range of flexibility and adaptability.
Indeed, there is a great deal more to job readiness for YOUNG INDIA than what is so far discussed. For all individuals, who are employed, they need to remain employable by learning the transferable skills. Whilst those jobless need to demonstrate employability by upskilling and upscaling skills that make them desirable. Indeed, planning for future employment also needs developing new levels of operability as learning remains a lifelong imperative for career development. Therefore, accepting ownership of your own career is the only key to achieving job worthiness for sustainable growth.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL
COL ANUPAM JAITLY (R) The writer is defence expert, motivational speaker and corporate trainer