Centre has no clue on employment situation: Mohandas Pai

Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education, said, “Policy makers, both at the Centre and States, do not seem to have a clue on how to deal with issues of employability. Today citizens don’t want rice, they want jobs that get them cars and houses. The 21st century youth does not want the manufacturing or the agriculture job, and no one understands the problems.” He was delivering the keynote address at the launch of MeritTrac’sAcetrac, a unique employability enhancement program that will assess candidates on employability skills at regular intervals during the graduation study of a student.

The evening also brought together key stakeholders from industry to discuss the topic of ‘Whose Responsibility is

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Employability’. Prof. Sam Placid – Dean, XIME, Mr. Narayanan Ramaswamy, KPMG (Head of Education Practice), Ms. Sonya Dutta Choudhury – Columnist and author,Mr. HarirajVijayakumar – Former Head of L&D, Cognizant, Mr. Chaitanya Sreenivas – Director-HR, IBM, Prof. Kumar Mohanty – Dean, KIIT University, Mr. MaheshwerPeri – Former journalist were part of the panel.

Commenting on the job market today,

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 Mr. Chaitanya Sreenivas – Director-HR, IBM, said, “Automation is here. The number of jobs have not diminished but the skillsets required have changed. The gap needs to be bridged.”

Adding to Mr. Chaitanya’s comment,

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Prof. Sam Placid – Dean, XIME, said, “Jobs have not gone away; nature of jobs are changing. Re-skilling is the need of the hour.”

Talking about the disconnect between industry and academia, Mr. Narayanan Ramaswamy, KPMG, Head of Education Practice, said. “There is a tendency to compartmentalize the academic world and the employment world. However, what needs to be realized is that the academic world should flow into the corporate world. Better connectivity between the two has to be ensured because learning is a continuous process and academic institutions with the help of corporates need to equip students with the necessary skills in order to prepare for the next stage of their lives. Students, for their part, should not shy away from futuristic courses and must take up the initiative of trying new things.
Mr. Hariraj Vijayakumar, Former Head of L&D, Cognizant, further added,”The mindset of the job seeker needs to change. While the prevailing education system does not allow students to think creatively, skillsets acquired at a superficial level will not suffice. Corporates have the database of job requirements in the future. It has to be shared with educational institutions on a continuous basis.”
MeritTrac has been the pioneer of conducting authentic assessments for corporates, educational institutions and governmental organizations. Over the last 17 years, MeritTrac has administered more than20 million pre-recruitment assessments for over 300 of India’s largesthiring organizations. AceTrac is a culmination of years of industry research, data analysis and interaction with corporates and educational institutionson employability. Based on their feedback, MeritTrac conceptualized a complete program with continuous assessments at its core. AceTrac will allow academic institutions to design personalized, long term training interventions for their students early in their graduation, which is a departure from the current practices.
The problem of employability has been prevalent for a long time in the industry. Several initiatives by stakeholders have at best been either ‘quick fixes’ or disintegrated efforts, offering marginal benefits or leading to higher costs.The fact that employability cannot be improved overnight has been well-established and the need for longterm, strategic and fundamental changes in approach is imperative
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Mr. Gopal Devanahalli, CEO of MeritTrac Services, said, “Numerous education reform initiatives in India have resulted in a surge in the Gross Enrolment Ratio. This, coupled with a high number of educated youth and a substantial shift in the job landscape has made the employability and the right kind of employability critical.As a responsible stakeholder, MeritTrac believes that it has an active role to play in making the future of India employable. With its years of experience, MeritTrac has a clear understanding of what the corporates want and the state of talent pool in academic institutions.We believe that AceTrac will complement India’s skill building initiatives by systematically enhancing job-readiness of candidates thereby making them gainfully employable.”

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Mr. Nagendran Sundararajan, Executive Vice President of MeritTrac Services
 said, “Corporates and their recruiters have been looking for a solution that can help them recruit job-ready candidates. The educational institutions and the student community have been looking for solutions that will help them improve their employability quotient during their college study. AceTrac has evolved out of this market need and MeritTrac’s 17 years of experience in employability assessments. Employability is not measured through an arbitrary score, and it varies from one job to the other.In this context, we believe that most students can become employable for varying of jobs and skillsets. What is important is to understand the strengths, areas of improvement and interests of individual students and help them in becoming employable. The AceTrac platform has been made intuitive to help corporates identify the employable talent they look for. We believe AceTrac will immensely help student community to transform themselves as job and career ready.

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