Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Skill Development of youth - a viable CSR option

In recent times, I made a whirlwind tour of Colleges - both Arts& Science and Professional Colleges in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

The idea is to interact with the final year students and gauge how prepared they are for the life ahead in the Corporate sector. After a short presentation on "Employability and Job Skills" I introduced them to sample aptitude test - basic questions covering English, Logical Reasoning and Numerical Ability.

The results are startling and very disturbing. Sample this: A student of final year B.Sc Maths could not find the "average" for a simple sum. A final year B.A. English student could not write 100 words in English without making a mistake. Across the board, the situation was the same. The students in the city or so called Elite pvt. colleges also did not score more than 14 out of 20 in the test.

The saddest part is, the students do not even realize this. They have a false sense of entitlement and refuse to accept their weakness. They believe that they are entitled to a high paying job - simply because they had completed a B.E, or MBA or just a degree. These kids live in a fools paradise and wait for the elusive pot of gold!

On one hand, I have employers - leading Banks /Insurance companies asking for 100 - 200 candidates per month! on the other hand, I could hardly screen and present 5 - 10 students in say 3 months.

We have a gigantic task ahead in training these kids and bringing them up to the level where they could be even considered for an entry level job. We in our small way are doing our bit to help them understand their areas of improvement and suggest ways to improve through our EZ Spark Program

I know many progressive companies, especially in the IT sector in India have launched Campus To Corporate events and many training institutes like Learn N Shine have initiated "Finishing Schools" but still we have a long way to go in improving the attitude, skills and knowledge of our young people.

In the new Financial year, when Corporates are planning their CSR projects, a Skill Development Initiative should receive top priority.