In a significant development, the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) has reported a substantial increase in the percentage of employable youth in India. According to the January 2024 review of the economy, the employable percentage of final-year and pre-final-year students has risen from 33.9% in 2014 to an impressive 51.3% in 2024. This positive trend is attributed to the concerted efforts in mass skilling initiatives since 2014.
The DEA’s report underscores the transformative journey in skill development witnessed in India over the last decade. The push for skilling has begun to yield dividends, creating ample scope to integrate skilling into the education curriculum and upskill a significant portion of the existing workforce with future-relevant skills.
The report also highlights India’s notable progress in WorldSkills Competitions, moving from the 39th position in 2011 to the 11th position in 2022. This across-the-board advancement in skilling, coupled with the rising enrolment in higher education, reflects the expanding and increasingly employable young workforce in India.
Noteworthy statistics from the report include India’s 50.2% of men and 41% of women with ten or more years of schooling in the 15-49 age group. The DEA sees an opportunity to leverage the education-skill continuum as a powerful tool for the Indian Miracle by focusing on the youth who can benefit from finishing schools for enhanced employability.
Under the National Education Policy, 2020, the report emphasizes the special focus on vocational education and skill development. Integrating vocational education with general education and mainstreaming vocational education are identified as key reforms in the country’s education system.
Despite these advancements, the Periodic Labour Force Survey 2022-23 reveals that 72.6% of workers aged 15-59 years did not receive any formal or informal vocational or technical training. To address this gap, the report highlights the recent launch of the Skill India Digital platform, serving as the digital public infrastructure for the skilling, education, employment, and entrepreneurship ecosystem. This initiative is seen as a significant step toward enhancing the ease of acquiring skills in India.