Potential of Post Placement Counselling in the
Skill Development Ecosystem

There are 1.2 billion people in the world below the poverty line and they survive on less than $1 a day, out of which roughly a third of them live in India. Their economic development would definitely increase their quality of life. Thus, in recent times, there has been a lot of importance given to livelihoods and skill development, especially for unemployed youth.

While many institutions and government agencies are focusing on skill development and related placements, very few of them are covering the entire spectrum especially the post placement journey. When trainees are placed at entry-level jobs, their need for post-placement counselling and access to information regarding their further training and job mobility is extremely high. Lack of this ecosystem is a major reason for high attrition rates and drop-outs post placements.

The overall ‘first job’ experience for almost all the trainees is extremely overwhelming as they face several kinds of emotional and social challenges and struggle to cope with them. The trainees also struggle to enhance their skills post placements as they do not have readily available access to refresher courses and short-term training programmes. Once they have joined jobs, it is an economic loss for them to enroll into refresher or upskilling courses as they would have to take leaves from their jobs. As a result, their knowledge growth is extremely slow paced. This further leads to very slow upward movement for them in their jobs.

Another challenge these trainees face is related to their job mobility. After spending one or two years doing the same job, they lack information on how to progress their careers. Presently in India, there is hardly any platform that links employers with such entry level workers, for entry or mid-level jobs.

While skill development centres are mushrooming everywhere, either stand alone or under the aegis of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), in my opinion and after having interacted with many trainees and their employers; post-placement counselling, refresher training and job mobility information are the need of the hour. One great way to enable this is by leveraging mCommerce and Technology. While laptops and computers remain costly and require training to operate, mobiles are cheaper. Mobile penetration in India is at an all-time high. India’s fastest growing area of new internet users are coming out of rural areas or Tier 2 or 3 cities and they are using their mobiles to access the internet. If organisations and main stakeholders in the skill development ecosystem could come together and create a holistic platform which uses the potential of mCommerce and technology to solve these problems, it has the potential to be a win-win solution for not just the trainees but also the employers, content providers etc. The advantages of such a platform will be manifold. Post-placement tracking can be made real-time, counselling can be enabled for any youth needing it at the click of a button and it could lead to a situation where youth can keep enhancing their skills through digital refresher courses. Such a platform could also become a potential aggregator for supply and demand match for entry and mid-level jobs for this cohort of trainees.

We at Development Alternatives believe in the power of technology and have successfully done so for several thematic focus areas. We are now working on developing such a platform and look forward to like-minded professionals and institutions to connect with us to improve the outcome from this endeavour.

Manisha Mishra


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