Today employment is more than just Labour.It is not a Dole or Subsidy but a good job that people now seek. Education, skill development and job opportunities and the choice to be an Entrepreneur is what they look for.
Quotations for Consideration:
“The circumstances of our lives actually matter less to our happiness than the sense of control we feel over our lives” – Rory Sutherland
“Open markets are the only realistic hope of pulling billions of people in developing countries out of abject poverty, while sustaining prosperity in the industrial world.” – Kofi Annan
We may have been aware of the unemployment in our country, especially in the rural areas, but the numbers of migrant workers across the country due to the COVID-19 has enlightened us to the vastly greater numbers and their plight in having little control over their movement back to their homes being left to whatever help they could get from the various governmental authorities and their fellow citizens.
Obviously the PMREGA, rural employment scheme has only been a band-aid for the problem. We need to take a proper look at the total problem and work on a long term comprehensive solution.
A world wide Gallup poll of people living on less than the 1990’s US$ 2/- per day, surprisingly found that people were not asking for hand-outs but for a ‘good job’ that would then allow them to choose what they desire and to live with dignity. Hence we should move away from grants and subsidies to venture capital and entrepreneurship, especially in the micro and small ventures even in semi-urban and rural areas..
After all it is such ventures that are the biggest job creators and poverty reduction agents.
Given the chance, the aspiring youth of today would rather be entrepreneurs and employment creators and work to come up with the next technology break-through and make more money than doing a routine job in someone else’s enterprise. Because even with the risk of initial failure the long term profits and the satisfaction of entrepreneurship are generally more than the salaries and the lack of a sense of agency when working for someone else.
In today’s digitally connected world, and as the COVID-19 lockdown has shown, many would prefer to work from home or even from their native places where costs would be less and family support more and the environment friendly. Good net connection is what the Government should ensure and also create a digital market place for the entrepreneurs to display their products or offer their services. A district level certification authority would help.
Increasing automation and the need for increasing skills in urban areas and reducing numbers of workers willing to take up agricultural work, has brought into focus the need for skill development and proper certification and job creation nearer to their homes.
To enable youth to find jobs on completion of whatever education level they may have, it is necessary that we ditch the idea that education comes first and employment later and get the employers, especially the small firms, involved in the design of short focused training courses at the District level.
The courses should lead to certification of skills at recognized levels, say Grade – III to Grade – I, with a minimum wages scale fixed for each profession and level at rural, semi-urban and urban, for each zone and urban centre, based on the cost of living. A year’s apprenticeship under a Grade –I tradesman should qualify one to appear for a test to get Grade – III certification. All tradesmen should be required to acquire GST registration if working independently and be allowed to claim set-off for taxes paid for purchasing and maintaining their tools and equipment and their training.
Such certification will provide standardization of the quality of their work and confidence to their employers.