Enhancing employability

Assam has more than twelve lakh educated youth registered as “unemployed” with the government.
Enhancing employability

Assam has more than twelve lakh educated youth registered as “unemployed” with the government. This figure is for March 2023, and though the government has given jobs to more than one lakh educated unemployed youth in the past three years, the fact remains that a couple of lakhs are added every year to the total list of unemployed persons. What is appalling is that these twelve lakh unemployed also include engineering graduates and thousands of Masters degree holders in various streams. There has been a general complaint that a large chunk of Assam’s educated youth is unemployable and gets rejected by employers, especially in the private sector. Moreover, every time there is a recruitment drive in the railways and other central sector organisations, the general complaint of some groups, like the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), is that ‘outside’ candidates are given preference over ‘local’ candidates. There is very little effort on the part of these organisations to go to the root of the issue and realise that the majority of ‘local’ candidates are unemployable or fail to compete with ‘outside’ candidates. Unfortunately, there is no proper scientific study carried out by any reputed organisation or institution to formally prove why such a large chunk of the ‘local’ qualified youth are unemployable or why they fail to get selected. It is, however, common knowledge that there is a general lack of competitiveness among the ‘local’ candidates and that they also do not engage in serious preparation for various recruitment exams. Student bodies like the AASU or AJYCP collect a lot of ‘donations’ on various occasions, including organising Bihu and other festivals. They, however, have never bothered to spend their time, energy, and resources to help candidates prepare for the various recruitments, which are all-India and competitive in nature. Colleges and universities, too, are not known to have taken serious steps in order to make their students fit for the tough competition. Private sector employers, on the other hand, have a common problem with a section of ‘local’ employees; they are very fond of holidays and off-days rather than being fond of working dedicatedly. Moreover, no show of ‘local’ employees after a festival is another common issue. The good news is that despite such a gloomy picture, 1,800 young women from Assam have been recruited by the Tata Group for their semiconductor processing industries in Bengaluru, and a section of the girls have already reached Bengaluru for training. As reported in the lead news story by this newspaper in its Sunday edition, this recruitment is the outcome of collaborative efforts by the Government of Assam with the Tata Group carried out through the Assam Skill Development Mission (ASDM). It is time the colleges and universities of the state collaborated with ASDM in order to groom their students and increase their employability. Students’ organisations too should find time to visit ASDM to understand what ‘local’ students lack and how to overcome these shortcomings.

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Sentinel Assam