Skip to main content

Growing challenge of 'idle' youth: Just 1.8% received formal industry-relevant training

By Balwant Singh Mehta, Simi Mehta and Arjun Kumar*

August 12 each year is celebrated as the International Youth Day (IYD) to raise awareness about the challenges and problem faced by the youth. It was first observed in the year 2000. This day aims to endorse ways to engage them in becoming more actively participated in accomplishing affirmative contributions to their association.
The theme of the IYD 2020 is ‘Youth Engagement for Global Action’. It seeks to highlight the ways in which young people at the local, national and global level are enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.
As per United Nations (UN) population prospects, the youth population (15-29 years) globally stands at 1.8billion in 2020. Out of the total youth in the world, every fifth resides (20 percent) resides in India (366 million) reflecting the importance of this segment of people in the country.
The youth are faced with many challenges, and the one of the most serious issue is growing number of idle youth i.e. not in employment, education and training (NEET). On this important day of IYD, we are analyzing the magnitude of NEET youth, which are tend to experience varying degree of social and economic marginalization and more likely to be left behind from mainstream development.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2030, adopted by the United Nations in 2015 – also set the agenda specifically for target 8.6, which calls for the proportion of youth with NEET status to be substantially reduced in the next 15 years.
Global Employment Trend for Youth 2020 noted that there has been a continued decline in the participation of youth in labour force across countries. The population of youth has increased from 1 billion to 1.3 billion in the period between 1999 and 2019, but the number of youth engaged in the labour force (either employed or unemployed) has seen a decrease from 568 million to 497 million during the same period.
The most disturbing pattern of youth globally, one in every five (20 %) youth, and 30 % of the women and 13 % of men -- those aged between 15 and 24 (international definition of youth) -- are currently classified as NEET. In total, 267 million out of 1.3 billion youth worldwide were neither gaining experience in the labour market, nor receiving income from work, nor enhancing their education and skills -- suggesting that their labour remain under-utilized.
India, at present, is home to the largest population of youth in the world. The ‘National Youth Policy of India’ (2014) defines youth in the country as persons belonging in the age group of 15-29 years. According to Census data (2011), the youth constitute 28 % of the total population in the country and have a contribution over 34 % in the country’s national income estimates. The latest estimates show that around 27 % of the total population of 1.3 billion in 2020 is youth.
The positive development has been the growing enrolment of youth in secondary and tertiary level of education, which has resulted in better-skilled employees and proliferation of decent employment in many countries. However, the Periodic Labour Force Survey for the period 2017-18, reported a significant increase in unemployment rates for the youth segment of the population.
A more serious concern is the increasing joblessness among educated youth (15-29 years), which went up nearly three times from 6.1% in 2011-12 to 17.8% in 2017-18.In particular, the technical degree holders have been noted to fare the worst with their unemployment rate at 37.3%, closely followed by those who are post–graduate and above (36.2%), graduates (35.2%), and youth with formal vocational (33%).
For young women, the unemployment situation is grave in terms of labour force participation as well as unemployment. Women are moving out of the labour force in greater numbers, but among those who remain in the labour force, unemployment rates are higher than those among men. This holds true even for women who are educated or have received training, and has worsened during the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
Those not in employment and training is posing serious challenge. They are up from 70 million in 2004-05 to 116 million in 2017-18
One would imagine that the young population with ‘industry-relevant’ formal vocational training would have better job prospects. But only 1.8% of the population reported receiving formal vocational/technical training in 2017-18 with youth comprised more than half of the people who received formal vocational/technical training, which is in sharp contrast to 50-80% in developed nations.
Around 33% of the formally trained youth was unemployed in 2017-18. Nearly a third of trained young men and more than a third of trained young women were unemployed. Among youth who did not receive such training, 62.3% were out of the labour force. Further, the growing number of NEET is also posing a serious challenge, as number has increased from 70 million in 2004-05, to 116 million in 2017-18.
The government has increasingly been wary of this and has taken steps to deal with this growing challenge.In the recent years, government has launched Skill India campaign which includes an array of initiatives under its purview to bridge the gap between lack of skill training and joblessness. A key initiative under the campaign is the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme, Skill India, National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, and so on.  
The PMKVY was envisioned to impart employable skills and help the youth in securing better livelihoods. Although the PMKVY intends to provide training free of cost, most of the youth who have received formal training have had to personally bear the cost of training.
The PLFS (2017-18) data shows that only 16% of the youth who received formal training were funded by the government. Around 73% of the trainees underwent full-time training. The training period for more than half of the youth exceeded a year, and about 30% underwent training for more than two years.
It was apparent as early as 2016 that there are several issues with the initiative when a government appointed committee to rationalize Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) and improving ‘Skill India’ which was led by Mr. Sharda Prasad found that the programme’s targets were too ambitious.
Additionally, it was found that the spending of the funds allocated for the programme were not subject to adequate monitoring mechanisms. On a whole, most youth still remain outside the ambit of formal training and many of those who are able to personally finance themselves in order to undergo months of vocational training remain jobless. The subsequent decline in budgetary allocations for PMKVY is an indicator that the government itself is not convinced with the working of the scheme.
In sum, as argued by economists and researchers that if the ‘youth’ is properly skilled and absorbed in the labour market; it can contribute to higher economic growth of the country. The country is going to continue having a larger youth population for the next two decades, which poses an imminent challenge as well – of leveraging the potential of the abundant human resource.
However, the increasing unemployed and NEET or Idle youth is posing some serious questions on higher education, skill development, demographic dividend and India’s future. There are other concerns of quality of jobs, decent work place, upper mobility, wages, aspirations, competition accrued by limited supply of new jobs, contractual nature of job, mental health, and creation of opportunities of entrepreneurship and fostering innovations among the young minds.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, as the country is moving towards the vision of New India and Atma Nirbhar Bharat, urgent thrust to the concerns as well as aspirations of youth populationwould be of utmost significance for inculcating and strengthening the Atma Vishwas.
---
*Balwant Singh Mehta is Research Director at Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi and Senior Fellow at Institute for Human Development, Delhi; Simi Mehta is CEO & Editorial Director, Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi; Arjun Kumar is Director, Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi and China-India Visiting Scholar Fellow, Ashoka University

Comments

TRENDING

Corporate-political party nexus? Rise and rise of Gautam Adani under Modi regime

By Sandeep Pandey*  In last five years Rs 10,09,510 crore taken as loans by various companies from banks in India have been declared as Non Performing Assets, an euphemism for writing them off. Out of this State Bank of India alone wrote off Rs 2,04,486 crore. Only about 13% of the total written off amount was recovered. Identity of the defaulting borrowers, most of whom are influential corporates, is not revealed. Compare this to the loans taken by farmers. The names of defaulting farmers is displayed on walls in tehsil offices to shame them and some unlucky ones also land up in lock-ups there. On the contrary, a few corporate defaulters have fled the country and quite curiously the authorities didn’t seize their passports like they do with some dissenting intellectuals or activists booked under mostly false cases. Now consider the donations received by political parties in the form of electoral bonds. The identity of the donor need not be revealed even to the Election Commission or i

'Extremist' US Hindu global group funding hate against Indian Churches: NGO groups

Counterview Desk  As many as 14 civil rights and faith-based organizations in co-signing a letter to the US Senators, Representatives, State Governor, and other elected officials have demanded the FBI, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Justice should investigate into Texas-based organization Global Hindu Heritage Foundation (GHHF) a fundraiser campaign for demolishing churches in India. Co-signed by Federation of Indian American Christian Organization in North America (FIACONA), North American Church of God, Southern Methodist University (SMU) Human Rights Program, Amnesty International - Dallas, World Without Genocide, Center for Pluralism, Genocide Watch, The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), Limitless Church, Justice for All, Hindu for Human Rights, North Texas Peace Advocates, Good Citizens of DFW, and the North Texas Islamic Council, the letter has been sent to Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz; Representatives Michael C Burgess, Pat Fallon, Van Taylor, Terr

Carbon abatement to tackle climate change: India's failure has 'outpaced' its success

By Satorupa Karmakar*  On November 01, 2021, India took a pledge of reaching a carbon-zero stage by 2070, at the COP-26 held in Glasgow, UK. As ‘ambitious’ and dubious it may sound to some, with a short-term delay in renewable energy generation (which gained the pace post-September 2020) and drastic fall in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission level as COVID-19 emerged as a ‘necessary evil’ , the path of India’s clean energy mission could be seen being paved throughout this time. Currently ranked as the third largest GHG emitter in the world, India is projected to demand more energy in coming years due to a large population base (1.3 billion as per 2011 Census data) and primarily coal-based fast-growing economy. Rapid industrialisation in post-colonial developing countries like India, stimulated by a larger and cheaper pool of fossil fuels and labour-force depicted a continuous upsurge in temperature, heavy precipitation in some places with an overall declining rainfall and a burgeoning soc

BJP-RSS trap opposition in 'futile row' around Savarkar, freedom movement

By Prem Singh*  Everything in this article is just a repetition. I have been saying all this since 1991-92. It is obvious that the Congress and the RSS/BJP do not like my ideas. But most socialists, advocates of social justice and communists also dislike my thoughts. I watch their measures and efforts to deal with the present crisis with interest. I respect them and also participate. Yet, the fact it, we fall behind again and again, and the crisis goes ahead. Instead of being a solution-providers, we are seen to be a part of the crisis. How long will this last? Perhaps, if the new generation thinks differently, things may turn for better! 1 To say that modern Indian society and politics are passing through the deepest crisis ever will surely be a repetition. The crisis is deeper than the spreading of communal hatred we witness around us. In fact, the business of communal hatred is flourishing by taking its manure and water from the deep crisis. The crisis of neo-colonial slavery is pro

'Unprecedented rise' of attacks on students of Delhi university by ABVP condemned

Counterview Desk  A statement, sent as an email alert by "concerned teachers and students of Delhi University", referring to a protest organised against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad's (ABVP's), has alleged “brutal” attack on students and teachers demanding the release of civil rights leader Prof GN Saibaba and others from “unjust incarceration.” “We are seeing an unprecedented rise of attacks on the students of our university by the fascist ABVP goons. Almost every week we see our fellow students and activists getting attacked physically by the lackeys of this current Brahmanical Hindutva fascist regime”, the statement claimed. Text : A joint protest was organised by the students and teachers of Delhi University on 2nd of December against the brutal attack by ABVP goons. On 1st of December, activists of Bhagat Singh Chatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM), Lawyers Against Atrocities (LAA) and many other organisations as a part of Campaign Against State Repression (CASR),

Nullify environmental release, uproot GM mustard plants: 111 doctors urge Modi

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as many as 111 medical professionals , most of them senior doctors, has expressed concern with regard to human health implications of the genetically modified (GM) herbicide tolerant (HT) mustard that got approved by Government of India, with indications that it has already been planted in at least six locations. Floated by Dr Rupal M Dalal, a Mumbai-based pediatrician, the letter, even as “welcoming” Modi’s “unprecedented push” towards non-chemical farming in the country for the benefit of environment, nature, consumers and farmers, it said, “HT GM mustard will push the country in the opposite direction.” “A herbicide tolerant crop will put an end to diversity-based cropping, which is important not just for soil health but human health and expose consumers and farmers to a toxic herbicide with serious long term health implications”, it added. The letter seeks the Prime Minister’s urgent intervention to not only withdraw th

Climate change 'can't be fought' with fancy issues: re-engineering cities, green energy

By Shankar Sharma*  "The Hindu" has carried a discussion paper in the form of an interview, Can poor countries afford to go green? Many such articles/ opinion pieces are making the grievous mistake of ignoring a fundamental question: what is the true cost of climate change (CC), and can poor countries, or for that matter any community, afford not to do all that is feasible to address the threats of  CC; instead of wasting our time and resources in endlessly deliberating on the so called "financial/economic costs" of the much needed transition. Such articles seem to focus only on high profile / glamorous/ debatable stuff, and ignore the basic issues which we all can do something or the other to minimise the impacts of CC in the short-term, and which may probably lead to long term solution. The opinion pieces/ discussion, as above, are guilty of conveniently ignoring the basic question: what is the fundamental cause of CC? The answer should be: the unsustainable dema

Enemies of elephants: Odisha real estate agents, ivory smugglers, mining contractors

By Sudhansu R Das  Over centuries the elephant in Odisha has been closely associated with its economy, culture and politics. The state was known for its mighty elephant army which repelled enemy attacks until the end of the 16th century AD. The kings of Odisha were known as Gajapati for their skill and ability to use elephants in the battlefield. Some historians said Odisha had 18,000 war elephants. In the olden time, Odisha had exported fine ivory work to foreign countries. The ancient temple walls have the carvings of an elephant army and the scene of elephants boarded on traditional boita (ship) for transportation. Today the elephants in Odisha are at the receiving end; they are being hunted, poisoned and poached for their tusks. They are branded as trespassers, destroyers of crops and human life; the media paints the situation as human-animal conflict and the debate to show concern for the elephant’s protection has become a meaningless endeavor. The state needs a development vision

Bangladeshi dacoits loot villagers' cattle, yet BSF 'doesn't guard' Ichamati river border

Counterview Desk  Bringing to light the case of one Basudeb Adhikari, who earns livelihood by cattle rearing and working as agricultural labour, a senior human rights activist has pointed towards how in the middle of a September night, Bangladeshi miscreants illegally trespassed into his house, situated near Indo-Bangladesh borders, broke the lock in the gate of the cowshed and stole his cow. Stating that such incidents are not uncommon, Kirity Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), Hooghly, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said, the village where this person lives, Pipli, is next to the river Ichamati, which is the international border between two countries. There is no fencing in this area, he said, regretting, here, at the International Border Pillar (IBP) Border Security Force personnel are never posted. This leads to the villagers experiencing severe harassment from hooligans from Bangladesh. Often Bangladeshi mi

Demand to withdraw 'anti-environment, anti-adivasi' forest conservation rules 2022

By Gopinath Majhi*  The Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), Odisha, a coalition of adivasis and forest dwellers’ organisations, has sent a memorandum to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) raising serious concerns over Forest (Conservation) Rules, 2022, notified by the Centre on June 29.  Contending that recent amendments and a host of executive orders/guidelines issued by the ministry undermine and dilute the FRA and threaten the rights of adivasis and forest dwellers, CSD demands that the 2022 FC Rules should be rescinded forthwith. Demanding withdrawal of such anti-people and anti-environment rules CSD Odisha organised a protest Dharana in front of State Assembly today on 25th November 2022 and submitted memorandums to the Hon’ble Governor of Odisha, Chief Secretary and Commissioner-cum-Secretary, ST & SC Development Department for conveying our concerns against the FC Rules 2022 to the Central Government for its withdrawal. The memorandums w