R. Khambayat

National Institute of Technical Teachers Training & Research, Bhopal (INDIA)
Indian economy continues to be the second fastest growing economy after China in the world. Globally, it is now looked with renewed respect, recognizing its strong and prosperous power in the world. Based on the current and projected demographic trends, India is going to be home to a significant proportion of youth of the world today. At the same time, entering into the labour market, continues to pose a major challenge faced by young graduates due to lack of relevant occupational skills and is becoming a pressing concern. The new employment outlook presents radically different skills requirement with profound implications for the existing education system. Due to technology innovations, a new set of occupational skills comprising of technical along with employability skills will have to be focused on developing the new workforce.

Education and training being an instrument for social change, keeping pace with a changing world of work and equipping youth with the new employability skills is the key to achieve professional success in the global economic system. In view of the growing demands of obtaining gainful employment, the education and training system are required to prepare the youth to face the challenges of harsh modern work life. Given the rapid growth, the persistent issue still remains is about matching the competences to the changing industry demands. More responsive to the work demands, active engagement with industry is equally essential in developing graduates with right employability skills to fill the growing demands of the job market. Therefore, ‘employment and employability’ would be crucial issues to be addressed by India in the near future. For this, it needs to be intimately linked with industry for inculcating diverse employability skills to deal effectively with the new demands and challenges related to a wide variety of areas such as work, employment, and social needs.

Education leading to employability would be the key driver in this exercise. Investing in skilling the Indian youth as human capital has increased significantly in the last few years. As highly skilled workforce is a pre-requisite for its growth and progression. There are a number of approaches, strategies and models in place. While providing educational programs, essentially we have to integrate employability skills as an integrated component to prepare young graduates for future employment. An attempt is made in this article, to contribute to the ongoing discussion on the changing contexts of employability skills from the perspective of preparing graduates to face future challenges.

In realization of this demand, the article moreover attempts to introduce the recent initiative; the Government of India has adopted skill development as a national priority over the next decade with the formation of Skill Development Missions, both at the State and National levels with three-tier institutional structure. The major impact of this transformation is that, lifelong learning will be a means of maintaining employability in the new economy.