Mumbai : As many as 25 per cent youths placed by the Maharashtra government during 2016 had quit their first jobs within six months, statistics compiled by the Skill Development Department show.
Salaries for beginners ranged between Rs 6,000 and Rs 8,000, with a majority working in the retail, hospitality, manufacturing and fast-food sectors. Figures pertaining to loss of jobs due to downsizing and austerity drives of employers could not be obtained.
“Most youngsters quit as they felt the remuneration was too low for their sense of pride. For many, this was their first jobs and most have left without another offer and are sitting at home now,” Deepak Kapoor, Skill Development Secretary, Maharashtra, said. Costly accommodation, daily transport and food were among the other reasons for quitting, say officials.
When asked about minimum wages, Kapoor said: “No company or factory can dare to pay less than the minimum wages. If they do, they will lose their licence. Anyway, Rs 7,000 per month, as given by McDonald, is equal to Rs 240 per day. This appears to be within rules.
For shops and establishments, the minimum wages for unskilled labour is Rs 8,460, Rs 8,880 for semi-skilled workers and Rs 9,300 for skilled workers.
The candidates either had a diploma or certificate course from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Vocational Training Centres or have passed Class X or XII.
Interestingly, the department had taken various initiatives in the interior of Maharashtra in 2016, inviting big private companies and fast food joints to job fairs.
Perhaps neither government officials nor employers could gauge the rising aspiration levels of rural youths. “Nearly one-fourth employees, out of the 250 hired by Cafe Coffee Day during the Amravati job fair six months back, had left the job citing low salary. Similar is the case of McDonald,” said Kapoor.
Over 2.5 lakh youngsters were placed in various private companies in 2016, claims the department, which is entrusted with training and placement of skilled youths.
Worried over the large-scale resignations and cautionary notes from employers, the department has now added a special “soft skill” course for all candidates in vocational institutions.
“Soft skills are being added in the curriculum to sensitise beginners about starting salaries. Most youths expect higher salaries from big brands and companies. They need to understand that salary increases in a couple of years, based on performance,” said Kapoor.
Since most youths were placed in big cities like Mumbai and Pune, survival on such a petty amount became challenging for them. “To address the issue, placements are now being given within the same district, so that at least 2-3 youngsters can share accommodation, visit their homes in the weekend and sustain themselves,” Kapoor said.
The department was created in the state and also at the Centre more than two years ago by restructuring and rebranding the erstwhile employment department to align with Prime Minister’s pet programme “Skill India”.
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