Unemployment concerns are of top priority for UGC currently. In view of the same, UGC is in the process of setting up targets for all higher education institutes to address the concern.
The objectives referred to as the UGC mandate are focussed on ensuring that students are more employable, have essential skills and are better engaged with society and industry. UGC is expected to approve the set of targets and objectives today for all higher education institutes that must be achieved by 2022.
• Every higher education institution must ensure at least 50% of those graduating get access to a job, self-employment or get to pursue higher education and two-thirds of the students are engaged in ‘socially productive activities’ while studying.
• Every institution to adopt at least five villages for the exchange of knowledge and for the overall social and economic betterment of the local communities.
• 75% students are to be compulsorily trained by the institute in professional skills, such as teamwork, communication, leadership and time management, besides being primed on the need for inculcating the spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and critical thinking.
• Strongly centered on the student, the UGC will also call on institutes to continue to assess and handhold the students even as he passes out. The institute must, as per this mandate, put each passing students through an exit test to assess his learning levels and the student must be tracked for progress after course completion as well.
• The fifth objective will call for mandatory accreditation of every institute by 2022 with a minimum score of 2.5 from the National Assessment & Accreditation Council (NAAC). Non-accredited institutes will be mentored so that they can get accreditation by 2022.
• The sixth key objective is to focus on the teacher with annual refresher courses and orientation modules on modern pedagogy and new developments in their domains of knowledge. At no point, should teacher vacancies exceed 10% of total sanctioned strength, the UGC will instruct institutes.
• Reforms of the examination system to test concepts, shift to an outcome-based and regularly revised curriculum framework, induction programmes for students, modules on soft skills and ICT-based learning have been recommended as well.
What Institutions Can Do?
How can the universities and institutions make their students 100% employable and job ready, is a question that the managements are facing currently. We have witnessed technology’s intervention in all sectors of life, be it healthcare, banking, consumerism, communication, education or recruitment. Universities can adopt technology for an objective and scientific method of employability quotient evaluation and enhancement, that can assess students employability and help them improve the same, over the tenure of 3-4 years of their college degree course.
Lack of experience is also a key barrier for young people affecting their employability and access to the world of work – Interactive sessions, workshops, internships and other initiatives help young graduates benefit from hands-on learning and adapt to the corporate world. Education and upskilling are critical as there is a need to better equip young people with the right hard (and soft) skills that the market needs. It is important to help to bridge this skills mismatch by providing guidance and training.
What Organisation Are Doing
For many young people, identifying the right professional path is their first crucial career-orieted challenge. Given that the formal education system doesn’t expose the students to an official work environment. Initiatives should be taken to help and encourage the youth, or any other interested millennials, to learn about the vast array of opportunities.
Understanding the need, this year, The Adecco Group’s global initiative involved more than 4500+ Adecco Group experts across 700 branches in 46 countries, all giving their time to helping young people gain experience and improve their job prospects. The initiative in 2018 alone included 10,000+ students, globally. In India, over 500 Adecco employees were actively involved in this programme, which gave around 500 students an opportunity to visit an Adecco office in Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi and interact with teams across functions like Human Resources (HR), Finance, Marketing and Communication, IT, Legal and Compliance; to name a few. Through this experience, participants learned more about the career paths and sectors they were interested in. They also gained insights into what employers look for and how to successfully navigate a fast-moving labour market.
The participating millennials included young individuals and students from management schools. The Adecco team provided them with guidance on careers, job hunting, applications and interviews, as well as sessions on CV clinics, social media identity assessment and coaching to master professional interviews. This year The Adecco Group India focused on upscaling and mentoring talent for the job market with a focus on entry-level talent.
Participants also learnt about the large variety of job opportunities, internships and work-based training opportunities offered by The Adecco Group itself. The workshop also articulated the growing trend of ‘social recruiting’ and offered an outside-in perspective to the participants on how to be job-ready in the era of digital transformation and automation.