The youth makes up the majority of the employability facet, and skilling the youth is paramount now more than ever to ascertain a sustained growth in the economy. The world is observing a shift towards a knowledge-based economy wherein skilling the youth has become an integral part of every endeavour. A skill-set will determine an individual’s job-specific abilities, leading to easier employability, in a realm where technology advancement and globalisation is taking over. Skilling the youth makes an individual job-ready and also enhances self-reliance that will help the individual as well as the sustained growth of the economy.
Although the youth makes up most part of the population, UN estimates project that the youth are three times more likely than other adults to face the wrath of unemployment. Low-quality jobs, market inequities and increased labour, inefficient school-to-work transitions are some of the reasons holding back the skilling of the youth. The global pandemic also has a huge role to play in the unemployment factor as it hindered education and job possibilities as the economy plummeted.
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Let us look at some of the positive aspects of developing the skills of the younger generation:
- An individual will acquire the required competencies and knowledge to help them seek jobs specific to their skill-set.
- It encourages the individual to be more self-reliant, confident, and in acquiring higher self-esteem.
- Skilling the youth also promotes entrepreneurship as they become capable of beginning a job based on their competencies, also creating jobs for others in parallel.
- To help bridge the skill gap, youth skilling is of utmost importance. The market will observe a sufficient supply of skilled employees which will reduce the unemployment and underemployment rates in a nation, especially observed in developing nations.
- A knowledge-based economy needs skilling the youth so that the economy is driven by innovation and healthy competition.
- It creates a skilled workforce that enables adapting to changing market conditions and novel technologies.
- Lastly, skilling the youth creates the scope for higher value jobs due to the emergence of specialised skills and knowledge, which in turn leads to economic and individual prosperity.
Solutions are needed for every challenge that emerges. Skilling the youth is a challenge that is very much looked at from a distance, but it is high time that we start to ruminate and then act on the basics of youth skilling.
Here are a few instances of how this could be achieved:
- Primary education is the base point in which youth skilling could be taken more seriously. Vocational training should be introduced with full zeal so that students can understand their areas of interest and this will lead to skilling the youth in such a manner that a potential workforce for the future will be created based on their interests. This will also lead to job life satisfaction. With the surge of digitisation in India, remote and virtual-mode learning should be made more effective to provide skilling of the youth. The focus should also be to skill the young graduates who usually lack job skills because the education is focused more on academia than practical vocational aspects. The next step is to provide upskilling opportunities for the people who are already in possession of a job.
- We must look at changing the mindset about jobs being gender-based. Bridging the gender-gap is fundamental in skilling the youth in jobs that are not traditionally seen as a certain gender’s job. For example, women need to be skilled in automation, security, mechanics, etc.
- Government initiatives on skilling the youth should also include knowledge on finance, soft skills, entrepreneurial skills, digital literacy as these aspects are also of importance rather than only hard skills.
- Skilling the youth from the rural areas is important. Government must invest in the creation of a robust skilling infrastructure in the rural regions.
- Businesses and organisations should take youth skilling more seriously, as that would also determine their own success and that would also lead to a better culture in the workspace.
- Educational institutions must revise their curriculum and include vocational courses for certain, so that the students are prepared for the job world right from their schooldays practically.
Developing the skills of the younger generation is immensely important for a sustained growth of the economy. When we talk about the economy, we tend to miss that the youth makes up a huge chunk of the economic progress that will enable the country to progress at par with developed nations. It is not just a single faceted work or a one-sided job, it goes multiple ways. The government, the educational institutes, and the organisations and businesses should join their hands together towards the goal of developing the skills of the younger generation so that there is sustained progress and growth in the economy.
Reference: Skilling the youth: The surest way towards sustained growth, The CSR Journal
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