India churns out tens of thousands of graduates each year but less than half of them are “employable” or possess the basic skills necessary for any industry role, says a report.

According to a report by Aspiring Minds, an employability solutions company, around 47 per cent graduates in India are unemployable for any job.

The report, which is claimed to be the first ever national audit of employability of 3-year Bachelor’s degree graduates, drew inferences from data of over 60,000 graduates pan-India, based on Aspiring Minds Computer Adaptive Test (AMCAT).

“The alarming statistics of nearly half of the country’s graduates not being employable in the knowledge economy needs great attention with interventions at both the school and higher education levels,” Aspiring Minds co-founder and CTO Varun Aggarwal said.

The employability of graduates varies from 2.59 per cent in functional roles such as accounting, to 15.88 per cent in sales related roles and 21.37 per cent for roles in the business process outsourcing (BPO/ITeS) sector.

A significant proportion of graduates, nearly 47 per cent, were found not employable in any sector, given their insufficient English language and cognitive skills.

The report noted that since a graduation degree is considered a pathway to a job in the knowledge economy, substantive intervention at school and college level is needed to improve basic skills of students.

Moreover, a renewed focus on vocational training is timely now and should be re-emphasised.

Employability varies from role to role based on varying degrees of proficiency required in language and cognitive skills.

For an analyst role, close to 84 per cent of graduates were found to lack the right levels in cognitive ability, the report said. A significant majority of 90 per cent graduates of those surveyed did not have required proficiency in English communication.

Interestingly, over 40 per cent employable graduates are not from the top 30 per cent colleges and have no way to signal their employability to potential recruiters.

As much as 41 per cent of graduates employable in accounting roles hail from colleges beyond the top 30 per cent colleges, whereas for the IT services sector this percentage is 36 per cent, it said.