The Navhind Times Archive

Skilling Of Goan Youth For Private Sector Jobs

Goan youth need to take note of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s observation that they are not keen in taking up employment in the private sector even though there are ample opportunities.

Parrikar himself has laid his finger on the constraint, though:  Goan youth lack the skills required for jobs in the private sector. There are nearly 1.2 lakh unemployed people on the live register of the state employment exchange, which is equivalent to nearly eight per cent of the state population.

The state government has a longstanding policy to give incentives to industries giving 80 per cent employment to Goans. There is no authentic data on the number of Goans employed in various private industries. Parrikar has been candid about the enforcement of the policy: the companies cannot be made to shut down if they are not able to recruit 80 per cent of their workforce from among Goans.

The government now has plans to continue giving incentives to all those industries employing 60 per cent to 80 per cent Goans. As the government has not been able to enforce the policy, the government has to think of ways to make that happen. Lack of adequate skills is surely one of the major reasons why Goan youth are not getting a substantial number of jobs in the private sector. However, there are other issues too that are holding back the youth from seeking employment.

One is that the Goan youth prefer comfortable jobs, like the ones in government. Two, unlike in the government sector, the performance of those employed in the private sector is monitored regularly and they need to perform. Three, salaries in the private sector for most of the positions where Goans can be employed are not as high as that offered by the government. Four, holidays and leaves are much less in number in the private sector. Five, most Goan families are economically secure and have adequate resources to pull on, so the young persons can wait for a government job to come by. Six, jobs in the private sector do not give employees that ‘status’ and ‘sense of importance’ that government jobs do. The result is, Goan youth do not mind doing high paying odd jobs elsewhere, particularly in foreign countries.

The question is: if the government feels a major reason for Goan youth not getting or taking up the jobs in the private sector is lack of required skills, why does it not ask itself why it has done so little to provide them skills? True, the state has 10 industrial training institutes which impart training in 14 trades. These trades are largely traditional.

The government has been for long talking about creating enough manpower to meet the needs of the industry in the state by training them at the ITIs. Despite the fact that ITIs have institution managing committees which has representatives of the industry as members, they have failed to start courses or impart skills that are needed by the various industries. It appears for reasons unknown why the government and its training institutions have responded to the needs of various industries and train the youth to meet the requirements.

The absence of such training and skilling infrastructure is what further strengthens the inherent tendency among the Goan youth to look for government employment as government jobs do not ask for any skills, except educational certificates and strong recommendation by politicians. As the industry’s demand for skills is not matched by the government they have to recruit skilled and semi-skilled labour from outside the state.

The government has plans to get the private sector to give jobs to Goans on the basis of positive discrimination. However, the government must spell out its policy in that regard and offer whatever incentives possible to the industry to ensure that unemployed Goan youth find jobs. To meet the skill requirements of the industry the state authorities should draw up skill courses and impart training to youth in them.

As the cost of living is high in Goa, the jobs in the private sector should be better paid to attract more Goans. Hundreds of jobs would be created after the Mopa airport becomes operational. The government should identify the trades and skills that would be needed for jobs there and start training the youth straightaway. Lack of skilled local youth would give the airport management and other businesses likely to come up a wide scope to bring in trained manpower from other states.

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