Core work skills are essential for gainful employment, finds study

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on September 13, 2019

File photo   -  tomertu

In times of an economic slowdown and growing unemployment rates, ‘core work skills’ have emerged as the key factor for students to get jobs, and for those employed, it helped in getting a healthy hike in their salaries.

An Alumni Tracer study conducted by Dr Reddy’s Foundation (DRF) and supported by JP Morgan, indicated that good ‘core employability skills’ have a big impact on the salary of young people working in entry-level jobs.

The study carried out in 12 cities across five states with 738 respondents revealed that 98.2 per cent respondents found ‘core work skills’ useful, and that there was an average salary increment of 21.2 per cent, compared to industry average of 9.5 per cent, for those who worked for 11-12 months.

Further, youth who continued in the same job and completed one year got an average increment of 18.5 per cent, while those who worked in more than one job (and are currently working) have been able to negotiate their salary by 20.2 per cent.

Also among those who opted for self-employment immediately after training were grossing more than ₹12,000 per month, while those who opted for self-employment after working for about six months were earning more than ₹13,000, thereby proving that ‘Core Work Skills’ are indeed important for gainful employment, said Pranav Kumar Choudhury, Director Operations of DRF.

Competences such as communication, English, digital literacy, arithmetic, financial literacy, problem solving and life skills — together defined as ‘core employability skills’ or ‘future skills’ — are essential to prepare youth for their future.

This is not to discount the importance of technical or vocational skills, but to emphasize that ‘Core employability skills’ helps to build upon and strengthen the skills developed through basic education or technical skills, and for entry-level jobs this does tilt the scale for employment opportunities, the study says.

Becoming ‘job ready’

A report by McKinsey, drawing on survey data from nine countries, found that less than half of employers (43 per cent) were able to find the skills they needed in entry-level workers.

With the job market in India already beginning to take a hit amidst an impending threat of a recession, the country’s unemployment rate, (which at an all-time high of 6.1 per cent) is bound to exacerbate further.

With just 5 per cent of workforce formally skilled and 70 per cent of the 15 million youth who enter the workforce each year not “job ready”, despite the gains from educational attainment and a wide range of initiatives by the government and the private sector.

One reason for the sluggish uptake of young people for entry-level jobs in India is the distinct mismatch between the current skills and the skills required for newer jobs.

In order to keep pace with the fast evolving labour market, we need to address this gap which obviously is not happening with the present skill training curriculum — at least not at the pace that the labour market demand, he said.

This study also highlighted youngsters today are aware of the need to be tech savvy, and therefore digital literacy was a high priority topic for most aspirants.

Published on September 13, 2019

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