Corporate houses have taken an alternative route to meet the labour (primarily the non-skilled category) shortage in Madhya Pradesh.
As many as 36,000 rural youth have been issued job offer letters during the past eight months by various companies, from manufacturing to service, courtesy a World Bank sponsored scheme District Poverty Initiative Project.
Since the placement agencies do not offer services in the non-skilled labour segment, companies hire non-skilled workers through references and relatives of the existing workforce.
"A large population, particularly the matriculate youth in the 18-25-year age group in rural areas, are jobless. They neither want to stay attached to the primary sector nor do they have jobs at the local level. This young and energetic population can be deployed in the secondary sector.
"We organised job fairs in 14 districts and provided platforms to companies and the unemployed non-skilled rural youth," Ravindra Pastore, project coordinator, DPIP, told Business Standard.
A number of textile companies, diamond cutting and polishing units, insurance companies and security service providers took part in the job fairs and offered jobs to a fair number of youth.
"It is normally a tough job to arrange labourers for a company if they migrate for better opportunities. We have jobs for more than 250 people in the diamond assortment, cutting and polishing units," said Rajeev Mujumdar, personnel manager, Rosy Blue India (Pvt) Ltd, a Pithampur-(Indore) based diamond cutting and polishing unit adding, "We have selected 70 persons from Dewas DPIP job fair organised in Dewas and now we are issuing them offer letters."
An unskilled labour fetches a minimum of Rs 3,000-5,000 in diamond assortment sector, while a non-skilled regular labour gets a maximum of Rs 4,000 per month in diamond cutting and polishing segment.
Companies like Anant Spinning Mills, Malwa Cotton Spinning Mills Ltd., Sidharth Spinning Mills, L&T, Pratibha Syntex, Reliance, Tata Indicom and other companies have evinced interest in these job fairs.
For Barnala-based Malwa Cotton it has become increasingly difficult to retain labours from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh since they migrates or switch over to other jobs available locally in construction sector.
"A lot of real-estate and construction companies are operational in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. On occasions our labours go on leave after training and never return since they get jobs at locally. We have participated in various job fairs organised by DPIP in different locations of Madhya Pradesh. I have interviewed 200 persons and will recruit an equal number in future for our other units in Punjab," KC Sharma, president Malwa Cotton -- a Barnala-based unit said.
Industrial investment is on the rise and there is a shortage of labour. If industrial sources are believed, an industrial area like Pithampur which makes mostly auto components require 5000 non-skilled labour. It is not only manufacturing segment but industries are facing dearth of security personnel.
Rewa, Katni, Satna, Kemore and Sidhi -- the main cement producing belt has absorbed more than 2 lakh persons during the last 15 years. "I have hired 20000 persons this year and placed them in various industries in Vinjh belt of them a majority comes from DPIP job fairs," Shailendra Pandey who launched his company Industrial Security & Fire Service in Rewa in 1987.
He further said, "The DPIP job fairs are welcome sign of bringing rural unemployed youth in main stream. The salaries begin from Rs 4,000 per month and goes up to Rs 12,000 per month for a skilled security personal."
The state government has a defunct Employment department, which prefers to enroll unemployed graduates. But it does not have any effective channel to create opportunities for a larger low-educated rural population, which otherwise indulge in either in anti-social activities or remain life-long unemployed.
The World Bank assisted project which have entered its second phase for another five years in Madhya Pradesh, will continue with its job fair activity and may offer better chances for corporate world to tap human resource potential available in the state.