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India – Jobs outlook looks bleak

29 November 2013

India’s employment outlook for 2014 remains bleak, despite improvements in the skill levels of new entrants to the job market, reports livemint.com. Only a slight increase of +1.4% in overall hiring numbers was predicted by the India Skills Report 2014, which was compiled by human resources company PeopleStrong, and skill assessment firm Wheebox, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

While some sectors; such as engineering, hospitality, and travel, expect to increase recruitment, others; such as banking, financial services & insurance, IT & IT-enabled services, and manufacturing do not expecting to see a significant increase in their recruitment.

Pankaj Bansal, CEO and co-founder of PeopleStrong, commented: “At sub 5% GDP growth, what does one expect? If you talk to the CEOs across sectors about their next year’s plan, the first thing they talk about is cost cutting. When the focus is on cost cutting, you will see [the] optimisation of resources [rather] than new job creation.”

The survey also found that the job trend is shifting, with many companies preferring to hire more vocationally trained and management graduates than engineering degree or diploma holders. According to the survey, even the IT and software industry plans to hire more management graduates than other qualifications.

The study found that one in three joining the labour force is considered employable; an improvement in a country where companies have long complained that new graduates lack necessary job skills. A previous study conducted by the IT industry lobby group Nasscom found that only one in four workers joining the labour force was employable.

Though the overall job readiness among Indian job market entrants was established at 34%, the sectors with people who were considered most ‘job ready’ were pharmaceuticals (54%) and engineering (51%). In terms of gender, women performed better than the male, with an employability percentage of 42% compared with 33%.

Mr Bansal added: “The [fact that] about two-thirds of our skill pool [is] not fit for employment is not a great situation for a country where some 12 million people, including graduates and new entrants into the unorganised job market, enter the labour market every year. But this should not [be a] surprise, knowing that companies have [long] been complaining about the gap.”

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