Over half of Indian students will not have skills for 21st century jobs, warns UNICEF

  • By 2030, half of South Asian youth will not be able to find a decent job for the lack of skills.
  • In India, as many as 53% will leave secondary school without getting skills needed for a decent job.
  • According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), India’s unemployment rate stood at 8.45%

By 2030, half of South Asian youth will not be able to find a decent job for the lack of skills. This is as per a warning by UNICEF head Henrietta H Fore.

“Every day, nearly 100,000 young South Asians – a large sports stadium of young people – enter the labour market, almost half of them are not on track to find 21st century jobs. South Asia is at a critical juncture, with a limited window during which it can reap significant demographic dividends from its talented and capable youth,” said Fore.

According to her, skills of its youth will define the economic status of a country. “Get it right, and millions could be lifted out of poverty. Fail to do so, and economic growth will falter, youth despair will rise, and further talent will be lost to other regions,” she warns.

Youth on track to reach learning benchmark
Country 20192030 (Projection)
Sri Lanka61%68%
Source: Special edition of GBC-Education’s 2030 Skills Scorecard

Unemployment: A barrier to India’s economic growth

India, in particular, has to worry about its current and future unemployment too.


According to the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), its unemployment rate stood at 8.45%. As more sectors fall into the throes of the ongoing slowdown— like auto, followed by telecom and IT — joblessness is all set to rise.

Three major technology giants — Capgemini, Infosys and Cognizant — are cutting as many as 500 senior level jobs. Further, the future of as many as 100,000 employees of BSNL’s vendors is in limbo— as the telecom operator is yet to pay ₹200 billion in dues.

The UNICEF chief urged the Indian government to take initiatives that can pave the way for a better future.

Smriti Irani, Minister for Women and Child Development said that India will start skilling its youth between 10 and 24 years of age. The initiative supported by UNICEF, aims to engage over 300 million youngsters in education, skill training or employment over the next ten years.

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