A report by Quest Alliance, produced in collaboration with Tandem Research and supported by Cisco as part of the Future Right Skills Network, says skill-building with specific reference to the platform economy has significant potential to revive India’s growth in a post-Covid world.
The report stated that India has one of the largest youth populations in the world, with 4.75 million youth expected to enter the workforce every year. The youth labour force participation rate was pegged at 38.1 per cent in 2018-2019. However, rapid developments, including the growth of the platform economy in India, have created new job roles and opportunities.
Focus on building skills
According to the report, projections made before the economic downturn in India — and subsequently, the global Covid-19 pandemic — estimated that the Indian e-commerce sector has the potential to create 1 million jobs by 2023 alone, and would be worth US$ 200 billion by 2026.
The study noted that to maximise employment potential, skill building in key areas including entrepreneurial skills, communication and problem-solving, financial literacy and management, and digital fluency, needs to be prioritised.
Speaking about the report, titled ‘Skilling for the Future of Work – An Outlook for Youth in the Platform Economy’, Aakash Sethi, CEO, Quest Alliance, said in the official release: “Over the last decade of our work with Industrial Training Institutes (ITI)s, we have found that mere proficiency in a trade or industry skills will no longer suffice in the 21st Century workplace — more so in a post-COVID world.”
The collaborative study further mentioned that to a certain extent, skilling may also address the inherent issues of the platform economy that workers must contend with. This includes the lack of access to social protections such as the minimum wage, social security funds, health benefits, and sick leave.
Additionally, the digital gender divide and disparity in women’s ownership and use of digital devices can be exclusionary towards women, creating new barriers to access, the study mentioned.