While India has a large young population, only 5% of the Indian labour force in the age group of 20-24 years has obtained vocational skills through formal means. According to Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, about 63% of the school students drop out at different stages before reaching high school yet there are very few training programs accessible to early drop outs. Approximately 2.5 million vocational training seats are available in the country whereas about 12.8 million people enter the labour market every year. This significant gap ensures that large number of youth do not have access to skill development for improving their employability. A population “bulge” in the working age groups, however large the total population, is seen as an important advantage characterised as a “demographic dividend”. However, India’s formally skilled workforce is approximately 2% – which is dismally low compared to China (47%), Japan (80%) or South Korea (96%). Gauging this need of the local community, especially the youth, who find themselves inept at supporting their family due to absence of any professional skill, AJMAL FOUNDATION operates various skill development & training programs. These initiatives aim to improve the employability of the working population including school drop-outs, semi-skilled and un-skilled workers.
Why Do We Need Skill Development and Livelihood Projects?
Livelihood opportunities are affected by supply and demand side issues. On the supply side, India is failing to create enough job opportunities; and on the demand side, professionals entering the job market are lacking in skill sets. This is resulting in a scenario of rising unemployment rates along with low employability. Some of the basic reasons are:
- But the unemployment among rural youth (age 15-24 years) is approximately 12 to 15% and substantiate number of them are just employed seasonally. Only 25 to 30% women in rural and 15 to 18% in urban areas participate in labour market revealing gender related limitations. This highlights the need for the policy / specific program intervention to focus on youth in the labour force, particularly to reap the benefits of demographic dividend.
- The rural poverty situation in India is highly complex and greatly differentiated by geography, demography and social class. It is multi-dimensional and influenced by systematic as well as structural changes in the economy.
- Vast majority of poor are engaged in low skilled jobs in agriculture which belong to the unorganized sector. Due to low skills it doesn’t offer mobility in terms of income hence livelihood opportunities have remained stagnated for this segment of people. Their labour conditions are also exploitative and majority of these workers belong to socially deprived classes.