NITI Aayog’s ‘Strategy for New India@75’ states India needs around 90 lakh new jobs annually to absorb the teeming mass of youth entering the workforce. A lot of focus is on creating jobs in the formal sector but a staggering 87% of Indian businesses firms, constituting 21% of total turnover, are informal, outside the remit of GST, taxes or any job security. Supporting a strong informal sector under the framework of the Apprentice Act can address unemployment and job creation in a number of ways. One is to skill rural youth to ease the massive ongoing shift from agriculture to non-farming sectors. How can this be done? Let’s also look at education.
With 74% of Grade 12 students dropping out of school, exposure to skills-based vocational and entrepreneurship training before the high-school stage is imperative. There is also the problem of over 50% of graduates rendered unemployable by a highly disconnected curricula; most end up in non-aspirational informal jobs. Read here about the importance of skilling India’s informal economy.