There would be more layoffs in India if not for this irony

Hitesh Oberoi, CEO & MD of Naukri.com

  • Massive layoffs across sectors has deepened the unemployment crisis in India. But there would have been more layoffs if India did not have a massive 'mismatch' of talent and the right job roles.
  • Hitesh Oberoi, MD & CEO of Naukri.com says that the jobs that companies offer in India and the skills that the graduates bring to the table vary largely.
  • This may be because of poor quality of education at the university level and lack of skills.
Massive layoffs across sectors has deepened the unemployment crisis in India. But, this is not all. There would have been more layoffs if India did not have a massive ‘mismatch’ talent and right job roles.

“The jobs that companies offer in India and the skills that the graduates bring to the table vary largely. And it widens when we talk of salaries and expectations of the employer,” Hitesh Oberoi, MD and CEO of Naukri.com told Business Insider.

Oberoi said that the slowdown which was earlier limited to certain sectors is now spreading its wings as the companies become more cautious towards hiring.

The only reason a few of them are looking to hire is the prevailing skill gap across industries.

“It's very hard to hire people. Even today, when you put up a job on Naukri platform, there are over 1,000 applications. But it's still hard to find even five people that the employer is actually looking for,” Oberoi said.

K P Krishnan, former secretary of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship also agrees with the demand-supply gap in the job market. “India’s unemployment challenge is partly because of a low level of education, high dropout rates, labour market asymmetries, a mismatch between the supply of skills and demand and the high aspirations of young people,” he said.

Quality of education and government initiatives

Poor quality of education is one of the many risks that India faces — adding to its unemployment crisis.“What we have to do as an economy is focus on imparting the right set of skills and education at the university level. If that is done, there are enough jobs for these graduates to get hired,” he added.

Even the ambitious Skill India mission is unable to plug the gap. As of July 2019, 1.5 million people gained skills and jobs, thanks to the country’s Skill India mission. However, this accounts for merely 21% of the total trainees — 7.2 million — who enrolled for the programme.


The Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is yet another scheme to impart employability skills. The PMKVY 2.0 — which targets to train 10 million people by 2020 — has placed merely 1.2 million candidates so far.

Skill gap needs urgent attention as unemployment swells in India

This is a worry for the country’s economic situation as well. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) pegged the unemployment rate at 7.1% in January 2020. This joblessness is hitting the youth the most.

Only 37% of people in the 20-24 age group are employed. This is despite the fact that India has 35% of its working population in the 5 to 30 year age bracket.

“This should get much more attention from policymakers. Allowed to persist this can leave scars on India’s economy and polity for long years,” said Kaushik Basu, former Chief Economist of the World Bank.

Over and above it, as many as 25 million people who lost jobs were under the age of 30 — that is 29% India also has fewer salaried jobs to start with — accounting to 21% of the total employment. This includes industrial workers, white collar workers, managers and support staff.

See also:
Young and Jobless: 63% Indians between 20-24 are unemployed

The rise in budget allocation for education is just not enough

Education Budget 2020 gets ₹99,300 crore allocation, new schemes introduced — including 'INSAT' to enroll Asian and African students
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