With rapid advances in technology, it is becoming more challenging to predict the numbers and nature of jobs in the future. For India to address this dynamic trend, job creation must stand at the center of all policymaking, according to the report ‘Future of Jobs in India – Enterprises and Livelihoods’ brought out by CII.
The report was prepared after months of consultations with over 170 experts and stakeholders with the participation of Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and association of Boston Consulting Group, India. Guided by Mr Arun Maira, Former Member, Planning Commission, it offers directional strategies for promoting creation of jobs by identifying emerging trends in technology, education, and characteristics of enterprises in India.
Developed through a structured ‘systems approach’ of problemsolving, three potential scenarios are outlined for the next 10-15 years, depending on current policies, and going beyond accepted theories to introduce new ideas and directional changes in job creation policies. Eight drivers of job creation and seven imperatives of ‘what to do’ and ‘how to do’ are identified to suggest how we may add 2-3 percentage points to the GDP growth rate.
India must create good quality, stable jobs that drive productivity and provide learning opportunities for workers. For this, a holistic thought process is needed that converges multiple policy sets through a systems 62 approach to job creation. Strong networks of small enterprises, lifelong learning systems, universal social security, and effective technology platforms can be key enablers for creating new jobs and livelihoods on a massive scale.
Government at all levels, including the Center, States and district administrations, should be coordinated under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office and chief ministers with systematic methods for policy formulation and stakeholder participation to drive jobs growth. Job creation must be a principal metric in performance score-cards for governments at all levels to ensure adequate employment generation.
Every year, 10-12 million young people join the labour force, and millions more leave agriculture, thus necessitating creation of 17-20 million jobs per annum. With much fewer jobs actually created in the last 5-10 years, the cumulative impact and future job needs must be considered together.
Networks of small enterprises and clusters should be strengthened: Effective clusters, both geographic and virtual, can develop capabilities of small enterprises and enable citizens to earn incomes with less capital expenditure. The quality of small enterprise associations and clusters must be substantially improved. Taking Ola Cabs and OYO Rooms as an example, we suggest that Government policies should be directed at strengthening and enabling digital technology platforms and communications networks which can empower small and micro enterprises with large firms as strong catalytic nodes in the networks.
The Government must ease constraints on growth of small enterprises and develop enterprise learning architectures which can help them to avail of shared services such as staffing, financing, quality management and so on. Innovative business solutions provided by small enterprises must be recognized and scaled up.
Life-long learning systems must be introduced: New technologies and new industries are changing the shapes and sizes of enterprises, making it difficult to predict the types of jobs in the future. The formal education system must be supplemented by ‘just-in-time, needs-aligned’ learning modules which provide necessary skills on an ongoing basis to workers. Dynamic training programs that can be offered in short time periods and meet the needs of an evolving production system are best offered by private enterprises.
Just-in-time, needs-aligned learning formats require larger participation of employers in systematic skill development and should be affordable and accessible for workers, enabling them to meet the needs of a dynamic employment environment.
Social security – safety for citizens, flexibility for enterprises: Social insurance and innovative financing can help build a strong security net for workers. The current system of voluntary acceptance of social security measures such as pension and insurance can be made mandatory. It is estimated that about 0.34 per cent of the GDP will be required over a five-year period for coverage to unorganized sector workers, the large majority of the workforce. By instituting such a comprehensive social security system, enterprises will have flexibility to remain competitive, expand and create more jobs.
Technology is an enabler for job creation: Technology and communications outreach can be effectively deployed to bring more workers into the system as also increase their productivity. Technology can connect enterprises in strong networks, enable just-in-time, needs-aligned delivery of education and skilling, and drive access to finance for all. The policy agenda should target quick access to digital connectivity, effective regulations on security and privacy, and identification of emerging technologies where India can become a leader.
The rural-urban continuum must be leveraged for job creation: Linking the urban and rural economies through flows of natural produce can create a number of jobs and regional planning through an empowered institutional system is required to accelerate this process. Strategic investments in infrastructure such as transport and housing can catalyze linking of workers with employment opportunities. The Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) should be allocated more funds to develop smaller towns as economic hubs. 64 In rural areas, self-employment can be made more effective through aggregation in cooperatives, clusters and common services provision. Corporate sector engagement in key sectors such as food processing, transport and storage, etc. is necessary to support rural transformation. Natural produce such as dairy, livestock, and non-timber forest produce along with agriculture need strong policy focus.
Three key sectors have large potential for creating jobs in India in the next few years, namely, tourism, healthcare and natural infrastructure in the form of renewable energy, water and sanitation. A ‘whole of government’ approach to coordinate design and implementation of policies is necessary for wide-spread job creation. Systematic methods for multi-stakeholder policy formation such as ‘Regulatory Impact Analysis’ and ‘Capacity Works’ will speed up job creation outcomes. The systems’ approach to job creation can deliver ‘Widespread Growth’, which will accelerate job creation as well as boost GDP growth by 2-3 per cent. In its absence, scenarios of ‘Enclaves of Prosperity’, with increasing inequality, as well as ‘Growing Dissatisfaction’ will emerge in India.
SOURCE: CII report ‘Future of Jobs in India – Enterprises and Livelihoods