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'Only 39.5% Indian graduates employable'
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May 16, 2008 15:25 IST

Only 39.5 per cent of graduates in India are employable and the challenge is to bridge the human resources gap by providing skills training to the other 60 per cent, says a Confederation of Indian Industry-Aspire report released at the 'Skills World 2008' summit organised by the CII and Aspire on Friday.

While releasing the India Skills Report Card 2008, Amit Bhatia, founder and CEO Aspire, a human capital management firm, said: "We need to apply supply chain principles to achieve the talent of demand targets and achieve a more equitable social and economic model," he said, and suggested setting up of special education zones to meet the growing demand.

"We must build people to build India." If the country can channelise its vast HR potential, 'India @ 75' will have the largest pool of trained manpower that will form the basis of global leadership, said Harmit Singh Sethi, head, skills development, CII.

Skills development and unemployment is a matter of core concern not just in India but worldwide and public private partnerships are the key to realising India's vast potential in this area and achieving socially equitable and inclusive growth, said Sharda Prasad, director general employment and training, ministry of labour and employment.

The Union Cabinet had approved the setting up of a 'skills development mission' which will include setting up of 1,500 more ITIs and 50,000 skills development centres, taking the mission to smaller cities and rural areas, Prasad said.

As part of the government's skills development policy, the labour and employment ministry has embarked on setting up sectoral councils, he added.

The government wants to play the role of a facilitator in this field, Prasad said, and invited the industry to join hands with it to create a road map for solving this problem. "This CII summit is a landmark initiative that will go a long way in producing and locating talent which is demand responsive," he said.

Prasad also launched a book -- Talent on Demand: Managing Talent in an Age of Uncertainty -- authored by renowned international expert on skills and employment issues, Dr Peter Cappelli, director HR, Wharton. The book is a path-breaking study that outlines a universal model to create the right jobs for the right people.

From a global perspective India is doing better than it thinks its doing in the field of HR, Dr Cappelli said. But it needs to build on it for HR today is problem of scale.

While education providers need to gear up to provide the needed skill-sets, the employers need to invest more in training and right hiring, he added.

India is on a scorching economic rise for the past few years and the only bottleneck can be 'not having enough people to do what we need to do," said Shivinder Mohan Singh, chairman, CII Delhi State Council and CEO and MD Fortis Healthcare Ltd [Get Quote].

"Our young population is our demographic dividend and we should not allow it to become a demographic divide," he said, and added that skills development is a concern not just of industry and GDP but of society, governance and growth.

This summit is a platform for CII to further the government's vision of having sectoral councils. The summit focuses on the three pivotal sectors -- outsourcing, financial and retail -- that are facing a talent crunch. This is also a first step in identifying skills gaps across the four collars from all sectors.

CII has been a catalyst in promoting the skills movement in the country.

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