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Half of Indian School Kids to Lack Job Skills by 2030: UNICEF

The report comes at a time when in India, the Centre has been focusing on skill development.

Published
India
3 min read
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A new UNICEF report on skill development has predicted that India will have the highest number of secondary school graduates among South Asian nations — more than 30 crore — by 2030 but nearly half of them will lack the skills required to enter the workforce.

“An estimated 54 percent of South Asian youth leave school without the necessary skills to get a decent job in the next decade,” it stated.

Projections have placed South Asia well below the global average in this regard.

The report produced by the Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC-Education), the Education Commission, and UNICEF was released last month.

Citing the workforce, Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director said that nearly 100,000 young South Asians enter the labour market, but "almost half of them are not on track to find 21st century jobs."

“South Asia is at a critical juncture, with a limited window during which it can reap significant demographic dividends from its talented and capable youth. Get it right, and millions could be lifted out of poverty. Fail to do so, and economic growth will falter, youth despair will rise, and further talent will be lost to other regions," said Fore.

A separate UNICEF report stated "low quality of education and suboptimal vocational training which do not give students the desired skill levels the labour market demands" as primary obstacles to overcome the youth skills gap.

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How India, Other Countries Fare on the Scorecard

According to the GBC-Education's 2030 Skills Scorecard projected the number of school-aged children and skilled youth by 2030.

Only 47 percent of Indian school graduates by 2030 will have the basic skills to be employable, said the report, compared to 55 and 40 percent for Bangladesh and Pakistan respectively.

A separate UNICEF report stated "low quality of education and suboptimal vocational training which do not give students the desired skill levels the labour market demands" as primary obstacles to overcome the youth skills gap.

Nepal is projected to have 46 percent of secondary school graduates with basic skills in 2030, Sri Lanka 68 percent, and Maldives 46 percent.

Bhutan will likely have the highest proportion of skilled graduates with 81 percent.

What Worries the Youth?

In the report, UNICEF noted that its ‘Voices of Youth’ survey conducted among 32,000 young people in South Asia in the under-24 age group stated concerns about how well they are being prepared for the modern economy.

Thee poll revealed that many young people in South Asia feel their education systems are outdated and do not prepare them for employment.

The students have cited lack of work experience, inadequate support services to improve employablity and bribery demands/discriminatory and unfair hiring practices as key the key hindrances to finding employment even after graduation.

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The report comes at a time when in India, the Centre has been focusing on skill development.

KP Krishnan, Secretary in the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on Sunday, 10 November said that the government’s efforts towards promotion of skill development and vocational education will provide a stimulus to entrepreneurship in the country, reported PTI.

India is also eyeing a major revamp of secondary education by introducing a credit system for skills training after class 8 and 10.

(With inputs from UNICEF, The Economic Times, PTI)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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