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Are educated youth getting jobs?

Radheshyam Jadhav | Updated on June 12, 2020 Published on June 12, 2020

While educated youth struggle to find a job in the market, five million men lost their jobs in three years (2016-2018)   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Data show that the job market has been shrinking for years and Covid-19 has only worsened the situation

Viraj Chavan, a youth from Kolhapur city, will become a software engineer this year and is hoping to get a job when he steps out of college. However, he is not sure about his future considering the impact of Covid-19 on the job market. “I had planned to go abroad for further studies. But now I have shelved the plan because of the Covid-19 spread. My parents want me to get a job and get settled,” he says, adding that the majority of his friends will also not opt for further education but will look for a job instead.

However, education and placement data show that Viraj and many of his friends may struggle to get work opportunities. And it’s not just because of the impact of Covid-19. The job market has been shrinking for years and Covid-19 has only worsened the situation, the data shows.

Not enough jobs

In four years, between 2013-14 and 2016-17, 63.8 lakh students passed out with degrees from about 65,000 institutes approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). Of these, 27 lakh (42 per cent) got placements, reveals an analysis of the AICTE data.

Of the seven broad streams under AICTE, including Hotel Management & Catering, Management, MCA, Applied Arts, Pharmacy, Engineering & Technology, and Architecture & Town Planning, only the first two streams show more than 50 per cent placement compared to the number of students passing out.

While educated youth struggle to find a job in the market, five million men lost their jobs in three years (2016-2018) according to the State of Working India — 2019 report, published by Azim Premji University’s Centre for Sustainable Employment.

“The beginning of the decline in jobs coincided with demonetisation in November 2016, although no direct causal relationship can be established based only on these trends,” the report adds. It mentions that India’s unemployed are mostly higher educated and the young. “Among urban women, graduates are 10 per cent of the working-age population but 34 per cent of the unemployed. The age group 20-24 years is hugely over-represented among the unemployed. Among urban men, for example, this age group accounts for 13.5 per cent of the working-age population but 60 per cent of the unemployed,” the report states. In addition to rising open unemployment among the higher educated, the less educated (informal) workers have also seen job losses and reduced work opportunities since 2016, the report added.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development told Lok Sabha in March this year that Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 2016-20, a scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), which focusses on employment, approximately 16.61 lakh candidates have been placed across the country between 2016-2020. AICTE has taken many steps to bring down unemployment among the youth of the country, the Ministry informed the Lok Sabha.

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Published on June 12, 2020
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