Nearly 30 million Indians between the ages of 20 and 29, 85 percent of the unemployed, were actively seeking employment in 2021. Alarmingly, a large population of the unemployed are educated. Youth unemployment is a significant worry for any economy as early-life unemployment is directly associated with social conflict, financial hardships, psychological effects and detrimental effects on long-run labour market outcomes. Just like India, many emerging and low-income nations face difficulties integrating young people into the job market.
Using administrative data and multiple methodologies, including parametric and nonparametric approaches, this study conducted by LEAD at Krea University and Azim Premji University evaluates the Government of India’s skilling and placement initiative. The study builds on existing literature to understand the skills training and employment preferences of India’s rural youth and examine the social networks and work-related mobility of these youth to identify factors that contribute to labour market choices and preferences across four major states of India. The findings suggest that policy-makers, particularly in developing countries, can consider skill training programs as an essential policy tool for increasing employability, particularly among women.