This refers to "Skilling:The way forward" (May 17).Most youths aspire for upward mobility in jobs and hence, existing labour laws, which are too restrictive, require revision with greater flexibility for both employer and employee due to the capitalistic leanings of the economy. Accordingly, there should be greater control over labour inspectors.
The substantial cost of labour due to shortage in supply over demand raises costs. It also necessitates apprenticeship in skilled labour to be made a part of the curriculum for continuing education. India, even according to the existing National Apprenticeship Law Act, falls well behind China and Germany but economic expansion demands statutory flexibility and thus can solve this problem for the future.
The distribution and returns from skilled labour today are too lopsided with migration of a section of them overseas bringing in foreign exchange while the same in domestic areas fall short in supply against demand. Unlike in the past, where the employer was the king and unemployment compelled employees to be dictated to, the situation today calls for satisfaction for both sides The prospective employee today seeks skilled jobs and not any job as in the past. The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been set up for exactly this purpose.
Skilled employees on many occasions feel that their capabilities are being underutilised and seek greener pastures. This keeps employers also on their toes. A competitive market compels the employers’ desire to absorb a larger percentage of skilled labour which explains why 47 per cent of the trainees provided by the NSDC move into the private sector as against 15-18 per cent in government schemes. Established private companies, both Indian and foreign, absorb skilled labour to both employer and employee satisfaction.
The Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation wherein educational degrees are combined with apprenticeship benefitting lower income groups is being considered a model for implementation at National level for imparting and promoting skilled labour.
C Gopinath Nair, Kochi
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