Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh): President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said there may be "unrest and frustration" in the country if youth remains unemployed, while stressing on the need to equip them with skills. Mukherjee said with jobs the young workforce can be an asset.
Most graduates produced by colleges and universities are "unemployable", he said. "India, with the second largest population in the world, will face a major challenge in the coming years. Half of its population will be below 25 years of age," he said.
"Our young workforce will be an asset if they have jobs. But, if the country is unable to provide jobs, there will be unrest and frustration," Mukherjee said while addressing the annual day function of CII Skill Training Centre here.
He said to get jobs, paper qualifications alone will not suffice, skills are essential.
"Our universities and colleges produce a large number of graduates every year but most of them are unemployable. Our youth need jobs," he stressed.
Referring to the shortage of skilled hands, he said, "Our industry has problems finding adequate skilled manpower. The economic growth in the advanced countries of the world, most of whom have ageing populations, is low.
"Emerging economies like India and China are, however, witnessing rapid economic growth. We must, therefore, seize this opportunity by encouraging skill development in every way possible," the president said. Highlighting the setting up of the National Skill Development Council in 2010, Mukherjee said its objective was addressing this challenge.
"The present government went on to create a Ministry for Skill Development in 2014 to provide focused attention to the need for large scale skill development," he said.
Mukherjee said skill development will help create jobs, strengthen resilience of Indian economy, help increase contribution of services sector to GDP and expand flow of remittances into the country from our workers overseas. He congratulated the CII and local MP Kamal Nath for their farsightedness in setting up the skill training centre in the relatively backward area of Chhindwara, and wished the centre all success.