Centre has no clue on employment situation: Mohandas Pai

Bengaluru, 28th July: 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 eveningalso brought together key stakeholders from industry to discuss the topic of‘Whose Responsibility is Employability’. Prof. Sam Placid – Dean, XIME, Mr.Narayanan Ramaswamy, KPMG (Head of Education Practice), Ms. Sonya DuttaChoudhury – Columnist and author,Mr. HarirajVijayakumar – Former Head ofL&D, Cognizant, Mr. Chaitanya Sreenivas – Director-HR, IBM, Prof. KumarMohanty – Dean, KIIT University, Mr. MaheshwerPeri – Former journalist werepart of the panel. Commenting on the job market today,​​

 Mr.Chaitanya Sreenivas – Director-HR, IBM, said, “Automation is here. The number of jobs have notdiminished but the skillsets required have changed. The gap needs to bebridged.” Adding to Mr. Chaitanya’s comment, ​​Prof. Sam Placid – Dean, XIME,said, “Jobs have not gone away; nature of jobs are changing. Re-skilling is theneed of the hour.”Talking about the disconnect between industry and academia, Mr.Narayanan Ramaswamy, KPMG, Head of Education Practice, said. “There isa tendency to compartmentalize the academic world and the employment world.However, what needs to be realized is that the academic world should flow intothe corporate world. Better connectivity between the two has to be ensuredbecause learning is a continuous process and academic institutions with thehelp of corporates need to equip students with the necessary skills in order toprepare for the next stage of their lives. Students, for their part, should notshy away from futuristic courses and must take up the initiative of trying newthings. Mr. Hariraj Vijayakumar, Former Head of L&D, Cognizant, furtheradded,”The mindset of the job seeker needs to change. While the prevailingeducation system does not allow students to think creatively, skillsetsacquired at a superficial level will not suffice. Corporates have the databaseof job requirements in the future. It has to be shared with educationalinstitutions on a continuous basis.” MeritTrac has been the pioneer of conducting authentic assessments forcorporates, educational institutions and governmental organizations. Over thelast 17 years, MeritTrac has administered more than20 million pre-recruitmentassessments for over 300 of India’s largesthiring organizations. AceTrac is aculmination of years of industry research, data analysis and interaction withcorporates and educational institutionson employability. Based on theirfeedback, MeritTrac conceptualized a complete program with continuousassessments at its core. AceTrac will allow academic institutions to designpersonalized, long term training interventions for their students early intheir graduation, which is a departure from the current practices.

The problemof employability has been prevalent for a long time in the industry. Severalinitiatives by stakeholders have at best been either ‘quick fixes’ ordisintegrated efforts, offering marginal benefits or leading to highercosts.The fact that employability cannot be improved overnight has beenwell-established and the need for longterm, strategic and fundamental changesin approach is imperative​​

Mr. GopalDevanahalli, CEO of MeritTrac Services, said, “Numerous education reform initiatives in India haveresulted in a surge in the Gross Enrolment Ratio. This, coupled with a highnumber of educated youth and a substantial shift in the job landscape has madethe employability and the right kind of employability critical.As a responsiblestakeholder, MeritTrac believes that it has an active role to play in makingthe future of India employable. With its years of experience, MeritTrac has aclear understanding of what the corporates want and the state of talent pool inacademic institutions.We believe that AceTrac will complement India’s skillbuilding initiatives by systematically enhancing job-readiness of candidatesthereby making them gainfully employable.”Mr. Nagendran Sundararajan, Executive Vice President of MeritTrac Services said,“Corporates and their recruiters have been looking for a solution that can helpthem recruit job-ready candidates. The educational institutions and the studentcommunity have been looking for solutions that will help them improve theiremployability quotient during their college study. AceTrac has evolved out ofthis market need and MeritTrac’s 17 years of experience in employabilityassessments. Employability is not measured through an arbitrary score, and itvaries from one job to the other.In this context, we believe that most studentscan become employable for varying of jobs and skillsets. What is important isto understand the strengths, areas of improvement and interests of individualstudents and help them in becoming employable. The AceTrac platform has beenmade intuitive to help corporates identify the employable talent they look for.We believe AceTrac will immensely help student community to transform themselvesas job and career ready.

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