These are India’s job growth sectors

For anyone who is still in school or those considering acquiring new job skills, the Indian government has published a report projecting the growth of 24 skilled sectors for the coming decade. The government also predicts that there will be about 580 million skilled jobs in 2022, a growth of 110 million from 2013. Furthermore, the government is setting up a framework to standardize skills assessments, and based on the framework, is amending the rules for funding training programmes and hiring government workers.

Surprisingly, when it comes to the sectors which will be grow the most, this report predicts that technology, consisting of IT, electronics and telecommunications, which are often in the news, will not come anywhere close to the top ten in number of jobs, though they are among the fastest growing sectors. Even healthcare doesn’t figure prominently. Heavy industrial manufacturing of any kind is not in the top five. Instead, the top employment sectors are agriculture, construction and retail. Agriculture is expected to provide employment for 215 million people in 2022, despite shedding one-tenth of the workforce from 2013 levels. The chart below presents the numbers for all the sectors except agriculture, which was left out because it is so much bigger than the rest and makes the chart unreadable.

Projected Growth in Skilled Jobs

Move the mouse over the chart or touch to see details. Click or touch the legend items sort by that data, click again to go back to the default order.

The Secretary of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Sunil Arora said that the government is changing its approach towards skills development in order to be more demand based. In addition to job growth numbers, the report also discusses job roles and skills gaps in each sector. The report was authored by KPMG, a consulting firm, and reportedly includes input from over 1000 industry experts, 1500 trainees, Skills Councils and over a hundred training institutes.

While announcing the report, the ministry also reiterated its plans to implement a National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), which is a competency based framework that organises all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude.

This framework is expected to have a wide-reaching impact because after December 2016, the government plans to stop providing funds for any type of educational programme or training that does not comply with NSQF. After December 2018, it will become compulsory for all educational programmes and courses to be NSQF compliant. Furthermore, employment eligibility criteria for all central government jobs and and those of its public sector units (PSUs) will also be changed to use NSQF levels. State governments and their PSUs will be encouraged to use the framework as well.

The aim of the framework is to ensure that all government-funded educational institutions maintain a certain standard of quality. Admissions too will be judged in accordance with the NSQF system. At the same time, since private institutions will also have to adopt the framework, it may bring about a national skills strategy to adequately meet the anticipated job growth.

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