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Posted at: Jun 9, 2019, 7:22 AM; last updated: Jun 9, 2019, 7:22 AM (IST)

Where are the avenues?

Where are the avenues?

Minna Zutshi in Ludhiana

Anil, a young migrant, came to this industrial city in 2015 to make a living. Barely literate, he managed to get job as a helper at a small department store. However, soon after demonetisation,  he was laid off as the shop owner preferred a leaner workforce. Anil is now working as a daily wager. He leaves early morning for ‘labour mandi’ to offer his services to anyone who needs manpower. He says he has not tried elsewhere for employment as he is not aware of any ‘suitable employment opportunities.’

Banking on jobs for a secure future is the last option, even for educated youths with technical degrees and professional qualifications, . “Where are the jobs that pay well?” is the common refrain. Starting one’s own venture seems a better option, says Avinash, who is studying B Tech at a local engineering college. His friend Akash Kumar, who is from Bihar, supports the idea. “Many of my friends are not appearing for any interview as they feel jobs in private sector do not pay much. After clocking in eight to 10 hours everyday, they are barely able to get Rs 20,000 a month,” says Avinash. “If you start your own service-oriented venture, you might earn more,” he adds. 

While those seeking employment complain about lack of suitable opportunities, according to Ajit Lakra, head, textile division, Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organisation, there is acute shortage of workforce. “Here people have higher aspirations. But without experience, their employability remains zero,” says Lakra. His advice — make on-job training mandatory. These training sessions should be conducted on machines that are upgraded. Lakra claims that he had opened a skill development centre for garment workers in Ludhiana but was unable to mobilise even a minimum of 25 employable persons required for the training!  

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