We’ve all been reading about Unemployment since class 6th. It’s been one of the most important topics from our slender textbooks of Economy. We know Unemployment in general sense of the term – that it is the lack of employment, and that it is detrimental not just to oneself, but also the economy of the nation, and the world at large. Well, that’s there. But there’s so much more to it!
It is defined as a situation where a person actively searches for a job, and is unable to find work. In other words, it is a situation where someone of a working age (15 to 64) is seeking a job but is unable to find one.
India Today, India’s leading magazine pointed out: In 2017-18 alone, around 33% of the formally trained youth – both men and women – remained jobless mainly because the skills that employers are looking for are lacking in most college graduates. This shows the need for skill development to create employable youth. Even amongst the youth in general however, there is a section more vulnerable than others – CARE-LEAVERS. In this blog we intend to explore this rarely talked about dimension of unemployment, vulnerability to it, and the remedial measures.
CARE LEAVERS AND THE VULNERABILITY
Care leavers have become the most prone to unemployment owing to their poor education, underdeveloped skills, poor financial status, and the consequent Social Exclusion.
Who is a care leaver?
A care leaver is defined as a young person between 16 to 25 years of age who has been ‘looked after’ at some point since they were 14 years old, and were in care on or after their 16th birthday. In other words, a care leaver is an adult, who has spent time living in the care system, away from the family. This could be with a foster family, in a children’s home or a supported housing service, or under another arrangement as agreed by their social worker. Young adults most often leave care when they are 18, and with that they face huge obstacles in living and leading a quality life. These hurdles include lack of proper accommodation facilities, compromise in higher education, inability to seek proper and desired employment.
Amongst many other causative factors resulting in a chronic issue like Unemployment, are lack of working skills, vocational skills and low educational levels. This in turn lowers their level of employability, depriving them of a job and a decent livelihood in the longer run.
In the view of above stated facts, lack of ‘Job Readiness and Training’ is the key factor resulting in a higher rate of unemployment and underemployment among care leavers.
A person is said to be job ready when he has certain minimum required skills to identify and secure a job. The Job Readiness Training programmes can therefore be carried out in 3 stages mentioned below.
1. Learning to identify the job:
Care-leavers, due to unawareness, often lack the ability to spot the right job or employment opportunity for themselves. These young adults are also deprived of the foundational training and clarity that would help them identify and learn about their own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, and accordingly work on the same. It is therefore essential to educate care leavers about the career paths that are available for them to explore, and train them in acquiring the required skills, thus upgrading their employability.
2. Working on the Skills
Focusing on the basic job related or workplace skills like that of effective communication, interpersonal skills, knowledge with regard to constructing an effective resume, and learning to face interviews, are some of the must haves when it comes to seeking a job, and being called Ready for one. Not only that, the care leavers should also be trained in building a strong Emotional Quotient (EQ) by helping them develop positive traits such as motivation, leadership, empathy, so that they do not tend to give up on facing any failure, and stay charged to keep trying further with a learner’s and doer’s mind-set.
3. Obtaining the job
This is the stage where an individual is to apply and exercise all the knowledge and skills. While a care leaver must be assisted in identifying and preparing for an employment opportunity, Obtaining a job by their own self is perhaps the real test! It’s like giving them wings, but Flying is what they got to learn on their own. With wings however, shall no flight be impossible!
SUPPORTING CARE LEAVERS
NGOs for Job Readiness have taken up the cause of making the young adults from underserved communities, Job-Ready. Muskurahat Foundation has always believed in preparing the children for the future. Along with being an NGO for holistic development of a child, we also work as an NGO for Job Readiness our aim is to make sure that children become socially responsible citizens. SAARTHI is one of the game changing Projects of the Foundation that aims at making the less-resourced youth, especially Care leavers, Job-Ready.
Its aim is to train the young vulnerable adults to identify and secure job opportunities that are at par with the on-going job trends. The trainees under this programme are provided with mentoring, guidance, and training, which helps them in not only identifying their goals, but also achieving them.
This mentoring is provided with an action plan. In addition to that, a scholarship is granted to the participants to take up skill-building courses. Under the umbrella of job-readiness, we help the students by creating self-awareness, preparing them for the jobs, focusing on social-emotional learning, educating them in financial literacy and training them in building interview skills. Courses on English Proficiency, Digital Literacy, are also a part of our curriculum.
Our Ultimate Goal is to build them Strong- Strong enough to withstand a storm, and shine through in all walks of life.