Solving Unemployment needs multi-pronged approach
Unemployment as a socio-economic issue has been the cause of slow human development especially for a country of our size. But the picture gets graver when you are confronted by statistics as severe as these
According to International Labor Organization’s (ILO) world employment social outlook report, the number of job seeking Indians is projected to reach 17.6 million people in 2017.
Solving Unemployment requires addressing it on various fronts. One – creating jobs where people can work in dignity. Two– Equipping students with skills that are actually in demand in the industry, apart from just mainstream education. Three – Helping people in (Bottom Of The Pyramid) BOP by giving them sustained means of livelihood and bringing them into the organized sector. Four– Offering working capital and incubation facilities to individuals especially women in the BOP to start a venture of their own.
Social enterprises play and will continue to play a major role in addressing unemployment through market focused and innovative intervention. Here are a few examples of enterprises who are worth mentioning for their unique approach to solving unemployment.
To quote the statistics given by India Today on the employability of engineering graduates, only 7% of the graduates are found to be employable. This undeniably points to a severe lacuna in the adequacy and efficacy of the courses that are being offered to students. Clearly, the growing skill gap between the industry and the education system is the reason why we have such a staggering number of unemployed literates. Innolat Technologies, based in Raipur, India is using a blended model to bridge this industry-academia gap by providing skill training to youth from small metro cities, where this problem is more acute. On the other hand, Upskilling also refers to having a workforce that is abreast with all the requisite skills to perform their jobs better. Navriti Technologies is giving the white-collared blue-collared workforce, the required edge they need, through their skill training programs, assessments and certifications and a collaborative learning model on their online portal.
- Livelihood Creation
People living at the bottom of the pyramid, like the subsistence farmers, rag-pickers, indigenous artisans and others neither have the time nor the financial capacity to take up education. Economic rehabilitation through sustainable employment in the organized sector is the best solution. Dharavimarket.com is giving the artisans of Dharavi (biggest slum sprawl in Mumbai), a chance at sustainable livelihood by giving them direct access to the buyers and a fair pay for their work. Hasiru Dala, a not-for-loss and for-benefit social enterprise in Bangalore is integrating urban waste pickers in solid waste management by employing them and offering them franchise opportunities to run waste pickup operations for residential buildings.
Self-help groups, backed by micro-finance institutions, and startup incubators, empower people especially women from the BOP by encouraging them to become self-employed through small-scale entrepreneurship. Take for example Share Microfin. It offers income-generating loans to women from under-served communities thus enabling productive micro-enterprises. Swades Foundation carries out various programs and initiatives like urging the farmers to go for a second crop every year, imparting training in latest farming practices and lending them the capital to set up their small scale enterprise. Villgro, on the other hand, provides finance as well as incubation services to village enterprises, helping investees and entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into scalable business models. Public sector banks like Mudra and Grameen Bank give the BOP community the financial support they need at attractive interest rates, to scale up their ideas.
Unemployment affects several sections of the society from educated youth to communities at the Bottom of the pyramid. It needs to be addressed at various levels through innovative social entrepreneurial models that rely on creation of jobs, livelihood opportunities and financial inclusion.