Government-Private partnership can provide high-paying jobs for Indians
Data analytics, robotics, artificial intelligence and electric mobility among others will provide high-paying jobs for millions of youth entering India’s workforce even as government and industry continue to hold each other responsible for low levels of employment generation.
While the government says the private sector has to take the lead, the industry says, the onus of framing conducive job creation policies, reforms and skilling is on the government if it wants to make India’s swelling workforce employable. Indian youth make up close to 35% of the population and the workforce is expected to increase to 600 million by 2022 from the current estimated 473 million.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal recently said the government will draw up a blueprint for creating high-paying jobs for the youth as it tries to assess the situation on the ground and resolve problems.
The problem is not so much about jobs but lack of better-paid or aspirational ones, according to Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant. “The government cannot create jobs. The private sector must invest and drive GDP growth. The government can and will facilitate it,” he told ET.
Challenges include changes in existing job descriptions and the emergence of new roles and skills in the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution. “Areas of big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, internet of things, cloud computing and virtual reality, blockchain and electric vehicles will create highly skilled and highly paid jobs in the future,” Kant said, adding that India must skill its labour force to take advantage.
The Niti Aayog’s Strategy for New India@75 has four objectives on jobs — codification of central labour laws into four codes by 2019; increasing women’s participation to at least 30% by 2022-23 from 23.7 now; dissemination of publicly available data; and encouraging increased formalisation of the labour laws.
“At a macroeconomic level, the structural transition of these labour market initiatives will open up new emerging avenues for employment,” said Indian Staffing Federation president Rituparna Chakraborty. “These are farm to non-farm, rural to urban, subsistence self-employment to wage employment, school to work and informal to formal.”
Reforms and skill development will help avoid unemployment. “This government started on a high on labour reforms but we are now dragging our feet,” she said.
India has set up a high-level committee to address the lack of accurate job data. Besides, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) will come up with a periodic survey that will shed light on those employed in a household.
The flagship Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana has brought about one crore people into the formal sector under the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), yet there has been a decline in overall job creation, raising doubts about future prospects. About 9.1 million people left formal jobs between September 2017 and August 2018, with only 1.85 million of them returning, according to India’s latest payroll data extrapolated from the EPFO. Overall, EPFO has added about 14.56 million subscribers between September 2017 and August 2018. India adds nearly 12 million people to the workforce every year but job creation has not kept pace with demand.