India File

‘Labour reforms will make system responsive’

| Updated on July 02, 2018 Published on July 02, 2018

RITUPARNA CHAKRABORTY, Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President TeamLease Services

TeamLease Services, a recruitment and consultancy concern, has been an observer-participant in India’s labour and skills scene for over a decade. Rituparna Chakraborty, its Co-Founder and Executive Vice-President, elaborates on the skills challenge in an email interaction with BusinessLine. Excerpts:

On the skills deficit

While India has the second largest workforce in the world after China, our formally skilled workforce is approximately 4 per cent — which is dismally low compared to China (47 per cent), Japan (80 per cent) or South Korea (96 per cent).

People in India lack both technical and non-technical or soft skills. The key technical skills that people commonly lack are domain and vocational skills, reading, writing and arithmetic skills, ability to use basic software applications such as spreadsheets, data-entry skills and skills required to operate machinery.

In addition, they lack soft skills like attitude, work-ethics, teamwork, communication, good manners, sociability, attention to detail. In short, most candidates lack employable skills, so we have the case of 95 per cent engineers not knowing basic coding skills and hence not being employable for the IT/ITeS sector. Similarly, people lack skills that would be required by the hospitality or healthcare or even manufacturing sector.

Profile of job applicants

We have given employment to over 1.7 million people since we started in 2002. Presently, we employ over 1.7 lakh associates and trainees. The number of people who come to seek jobs with us is far more and this number has increased over the years.

Around 45 per cent come from the metros and the rest from the non-metros, semi-urban, rural areas. Sixty per cent of the candidates seeking jobs are graduates. About 70 per cent are freshers and the rest experienced. The latter have skills and experience in the areas of sales, customer service, logistics, office administration and manufacturing.

Impact of labour reforms

Labour reforms will help improve the ease of doing business which, in turn, will improve investments, stimulate economic growth and fuel the demand for right-skilled workforce. The system of formal education in India has been unresponsive to the signals coming from the labour market. But hopefully, with the recent regulatory reforms, the education system in India will be forced to become more responsive.

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Published on July 02, 2018
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