Prudent and Well Designed Policies can Address the Challenges of the Unemployed Educated Youth

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By Suhail Samandar

I will begin my essay with a quote from Jane Adams, who has stated that “Of all aspects of social misery, nothing is as heartbreaking as unemployment.” It is because human beings have needs that have to be met, among other important things. We have to work, feed our families and so on. Generally speaking, unemployment has always been a matter of concern , especially for the developing countries where there is an inefficient allocation of resources and this problem of utilizing the resources below optimal level is due to lack of technological advancement , poor human Capital , lack of Infrastructure (social and economic) and so on. As a matter of fact, unemployment among the educated is a worrisome for every developing country. In terms of Jammu and Kashmir, in January 2018, over 80,000 unemployed educated youth were registered here.

It is an axiom that education opens the path ways of employment opportunities for a person. The more educated a person is ,the more chances he or she has to get engaged in an economic activity but the problem is that what type of work he or she is supposed to do after getting higher education? When there are few job posts, and thousands are applying for the post then where will the person go? The cessation of work is not accompanied by the cessation of the expenses. Those few people get employed and others still remain unemployed. A person with an M.A, M.Sc, M.Phill and PhD like degrees would not anticipate( or even want) to work as a casual labourer. It is because the amount of money that he has spent on his or her education is huge and so is his or her opportunity cost ( that is, ,the money or opportunity) he or she has forgone for studying his study).If he or she has made a huge investment in education then he or she expects a good return.

Let me consider the case of the casual labour market .The problem is that an educated person is not able to work as a casual labour; one economic reason is for our rural labour market is very much static .The labour market of the developing countries doesn’t adjust all the workers due to mismatch of jobs and skill differential and . A highly qualified person is least interested in doing construction work as it is cumbersome and he is not habitual of doing such things because he never done them before.

Another issue is that when a person hires labour, he or she chooses the most efficient one and that labour is demanded from the labour market who is well-built and more productive. On one hand, firm will demand that labour which is able to work efficiently .On the other hand, a person who is well qualified but has never done a physical work ,will hardly be demanded .This is a serious problem with educated unemployed youth so much so that they aren’t able to do their domestic work and help their family to carry out their agricultural work.

In order to overcome these problems, there is a need of technical Institutions, trade schools and colleges where technical and skill programs are taught. We need Vocational Educational Training Centres (VET) and Career Technical Education (CTE), which provide job-specific Training to unemployed youth and they can earn their livelihood easily even if they don’t find government jobs.

It is very difficult to change the pattern, ways and trends of learning but If we continue with our existing education system, no doubt, it will enhance our ability of mind to get more and more but it will leave us handcuffed and hamstrung. It. implies”we will only add mouths to eat but not hands to work”. What I suggest is that if the education department could make a slight change in the Higher Education by Introducing skill based programs and employ skilled and efficient teachers to teach these programs ,it can help us in eliminating the problems of unemployment to some extent . Furthermore, students’ psychological pressure of remaining unemployed will also dissipate. It has been well said, “The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work”. Students are always worried about their career and this tension “kills” them before their natural death.

The author is a Post Graduate student at Department of Economics, University of Kashmir. He can be reached at: