'Skilled manpower shortage may hit economic growth'
New Delhi, July 8: Even as the Indian economy continues to clock close to double-digit growth aided by a robust growth in manufacturing and services sectors, it is up against shortage of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers.
Industry chamber Ficci President Habil Khorakiwala state that the shortages are of such a serious nature that it is imperative to take immediate corrective action to maintain the growth momentum of the economy.
According to a quick survey by Ficci, based on the feedback received from individual companies as well as industry associations, has identified key areas, which deserve immediate attention in terms of promoting skill development and meeting industry's requirement in 20 industry sectors.
The survey reveals that in the biotechnology sector, there is an acute shortage of nearly 80 per cent of Doctorate and Post Doctorate Scientists in the areas of molecular biology, biochemistry, biotechnology and analytical chemistry.
Companies face shortages of people with Masters degree to the tune of 20 per cent, production staff shortage of 18 per cent and regulatory and legal experts demanded by the industry are short by 22 per cent, the chamber said.
In the health sector, the survey pointed out that number of doctors available in the country in 2005 was 5,92,215. Current additions to the pool per year is 22,000 and the projected demand in 2012 is put at 1,200,000. Respondents to the survey pointed out an acute shortage of doctors is expected over the next few years particularly anesthetist, radiologist, gynaecologist and surgeons (particularly neurosurgeons).
The chamber stated that skill shortages generally arise in the situations when employers face difficulties in finding staff with the appropriate skills, experience or qualifications to fill vacancies.
The second situation is when employers find that there are skill gaps as the existing employees lack the required skills, qualifications and experiences When employers are unable to recruit the required staff due to other factors like low remuneration, unsatisfactory working hours, distant location, dearth of sector-specific specialised skills, it leads to skill shortages.
The findings of the quick survey showed that similar situations of skill shortages exists across many segments of the industry and economy of the country. Not only the technically qualified professionals in various streams are in short supply but there also exists an acute shortage of shop floor workers.
The results of the survey, provide important insights into the areas where both the government and the industry need to focus their time and resources to address the issue at hand.
Analysis of the responses received by the chamber showed that a twin approach towards skill and human capital development is needed. While development of 'trades' has a numerical aspect attached to it, development of 'professions' has a quality aspect attached to it.
On one hand the industry needs a large number of skilled workers to perform various functions at the shop floor, on the other hand the industry requires world-class professionals of excellent quality.