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New programmes for the unorganised sector likely

With the BJP-led NDA set to form the new government, experts who have been terming unemployment the biggest challenge faced by the country expect an immediate spurt in the job market.

Arunima Mishra        Last Updated: May 16, 2014  | 18:43 IST
New programmes for the unorganised sector likely
(Picture for representation only) Photo: Reuters

With the BJP-led NDA set to form the new government, experts who have been terming unemployment the biggest challenge faced by the country expect an immediate spurt in the job market. Besides talking about job creation for the youth and discussing the issue of unemployment throughout his campaign, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, now set to become prime minister, launched a smartphone application on Thursday (May 15) called 'Jobs in GoG', which stands for "Government of Gujarat", which is part of an ambitious plan to prepare a recruitment calender for all state government jobs for the next decade.

People managers maintain that the focus now needs to be on rural India and not just urban India. The biggest challenge is to get visibility on the quantum and quality of the unorgansied labour workforce. Programmes that offer opportunities to upgrade skills and creating new programmes - vocational and technical -- that can make the urganised workforce employable are the need of the hour. Unorganised labour adds more than 60 per cent to the national income while the contribution of organised sector is almost half that depending on the industry, according to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

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P. Dwarakanath, Advisor, Group Human Capital, MAX India, said that leadership qualities and the will to ensure execution are important and that Narendra Modi has got both qualities. "The unorganised sector - that accounts for more than 90 per cent of the labour force in India (the organised sector is only 6-7 per cent)-is a highly neglected sector that needs attention. Labour reforms are the need of the hour while some attempts have been made but nobody did anything with much gusto. Industrialisation -- what Modi has carried out in Gujarat -- will address unemployment in a big way. Self-employment can help generate more jobs as it's not possible to create industries everywhere."

Another focus should be on the smaller sectors as everyone need not have a large-size or a mid-size industry, and agricultural reforms will add substantially to it, Dwarakanath added.

Modi in his speeches and manifesto focused on reviving the manufacturing sector that automatically will ensure there would be a huge number of jobs created. The manufacturing and infrastructure sectors are expected to create 30 to 40 million jobs over the next decade. Other sectors like Health Care, IT and BFSI are expected to continue to create large number of jobs on the back of economic growth.

So, how will Narendra Modi tackle unemployment differently? Industry experts in human resource management believe confidence levels have to surge and sentiment needs to remain positive for investors and corporations alike to boost employment, while there has to be a match between skilled workforce and job opportunities.

Prince Augustin, Executive Vice President, Group Human Capital & Leadership Development, Mahindra & Mahindra, said demand and consumption across sectors will lead to job creation and that employees have to be paid well without any exploitation. "Without the demand, there can't be consumption, and consumption will lead to job creation coupled with the right skilling. Unless we increase consumption in India in manufacturing, services, sales, to name a few sectors, the job opportunities won't be accentuated." Besides introducing a fallback mechanism if one doesn't have a job like the West has, there has to be a social order in the society, aiming at a mindset change that will spur a lot of employment opportunities, Mahindra & Mahindra's Augustin added.

Modi has promised earlier to create one crore jobs. According to HR analysts, there's a tremendous confidence in the corporate sector and a positive momentum, at the moment. V Suresh, Business Head of job site Naukri.com, said in the last three to four months, Modi has been talking with a lot of facts and deep understanding of the job market in India. "But how far and how fast will be the execution is the question here. Modi's core team would have made some homework to quote such kind of a number. However, with Sensex picking up, FII inflows pouring in, it is surely the reflection of the confidence in people. It also amplifies the intrinsic value for India as destination for employable youth, talent, mobile- and internet population in any global company."

The new government will have to take into account the willingness of the youth, skilling ability and opportunity as far as generating jobs are concerned. Nishchae Suri, Partner and Head, People and Change at KPMG, a global professional services firm, said, "Besides skilling, strengthening education systems across the country and addressing the big talent deficit in infrastructure and construction can help create jobs."

Kamal Karanth, Managing Director, Kelly Services India that provides workforce solutions, said the first step is to create the confidence among investors and corporates which will accentuate employment besides focusing on skilled and re-skilled labour. "If Modi immediately resolves a few banking licenses, there will be job creation, as only one banking license can ensure 5000 direct jobs. Apart from this, reform is key to create informal into formal in the labour laws," Karanth added.

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