Is employability different from literacy? Aren’t these the same? No! They aren’t. According to Wikipedia, employability refers to the attributes of a person that make that person able to gain and maintain employment. This implies that just because someone is educated doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the qualities required to be employed. This can be a little confusing. The reason being the fact that we have always been told that we need to gain a certain level of academic education in order to gain the qualities to get a job. Wasn’t that why we thrived hard in school and colleges? Isn’t that why the government is promoting education as with higher literacy rates the unemployment rate would decrease?
According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) report published in 2018, only 20 percent of the five million students who graduate every year get employed. Is lack of jobs the only reason behind it? Certainly not, there are numbers of new openings every year to keep up, 80 percent is a huge number when compared to it. The only possible explanation for this could be the lack of skilled candidates. The evident gap in the industry requirements and curriculum has emerged as one of the most common reasons highlighted for this figure.
One of the ways to bridge that gap is to shift the focus to developing employability skills along with promoting literacy. Some possible ways to do that could be as follows,
Building basic concepts surrounding a topic is necessary to understand practical applications. However, it is also important that the curriculum consists of skill training and not just basic theoretical knowledge. Depending on the training that the organizations provide after employing may not be a good idea in this era of competition. With the number of job vacancies for a particular role compared with the number of applicants, it is good that skill-building becomes a part of the curriculum during the undergraduate courses.
At PeopleNorth, we often engage in such capacity-building interventions. Visit our website to know more.
Vocational education is education that prepares people to work as a technician or to take up employment in a skilled craft or trade as a tradesperson or artisan. For students who are aware and confident about the profession they want to pursue, it is only fair that they enroll in vocational courses to gain a clear understanding. It will not only help them develop their skills but also give them an insight into the industry they aspire to work for.
Literacy and employability are two different things, yet one loses its significance without the other. In order to get out of this impermeable bubble of growing unemployment, we need to focus on developing skills and improving employability.