The missing jobs: 

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The missing jobs

Context:

  • According to a recent report, less than 10% of the youth who had received training under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana have obtained placement offers (offers, not jobs).

The Real Problem of Jobs:

  • Jobs are not simply a function of the country’s workforce acquiring formal skills making them employable.
  • More fundamental to job creation is a vibrant economy, in which investment and consumption fuel demand for labour, skilled and unskilled.
  • This happened between 2004-05 and 2011-12.
  • Today’s crisis is not one of employability, but of investment and economic activity leading to shrinking job opportunities.

PMKVY

  • It seeks to impart industry-relevant skill training to 10 million youth over four years (2016-2020), largely through private accredited “training partners” and with the Centre meeting the entire fee expenses.

Problem with PMKVY

  • The problem with PMKVY is not its poor job placement record.
  • The question to ask is whether a scheme of this kind is required at all.
  • Ideally, the government’s focus should be on providing decent education.
  • That would mean ensuring minimum standards in schools, colleges, polytechnics and industrial training institutes (ITI).
  • Training is better left to the private sector.
  • The Rs 12,000-crore outlay for PMKVY can instead be used to beef up the infrastructure and course content in 2,284 government ITIs.

Way Forward

  • Formal skilling — currently restricted to hardly three per cent of India’s workforce — is important.
  • However, skills are mostly job-specific and acquired at the workplace.
  • The market has ways to address skills gap.
  • The government would do a great job by just concentrating on basic education, labour reforms and improving the ease of doing business.
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