HYDERABAD: The rates of unemployment in the country have been shooting through the roof, catapulting the issue into the centre of the current political debate. The phenomenon, of course, calls for appropriate policy responses.
However, prima facie, job melas have long been a dependable way of tackling the crisis. The District Employment Exchanges (DEE) set up across Telangana have been conducting regular job melas in an attempt to avail employment for the youth. However, a cursory glance at the statistics in this regard in cities like Hyderabad is bound to give one a reality check.
Even as the city witnesses a considerable inflow of youngsters in search of jobs, the number of people seeking jobs through the DEEs has been abysmal through the last few years. Over four years (2014-17), the number of under-employed or unemployed persons who landed a job in the city stood at just 65. During the said period, there were 126 job melas conducted at various places in the city, attracting a talent pool of 759 candidates.
In stark contrast, erstwhile Khammam, Karimnagar and Warangal DEEs led to 8,104 aspirants to get placed during 2014 - 2017. Interestingly, the number of job melas conducted, putting together all the three districts together, was 214.
As per the officials at the State’s department of employment and training, the low acceptance of a job offer through a mela is primarily due to the meagre salary paid by the employers.
“Because a lot of the unemployed youth are freshers, the companies keep the salary package offer low. Added to this, is the constant increase in cost of living, and this makes the jobs less lucrative,” observed an official. The minimum salary paid to those who are selected ranges between `9,000 and `25,000. Often, the salaries are fixed towards the lower end, it is observed.
This raises questions on the relevance of the DEEs in cities like Hyderabad when they are achieving little success in availing employment to a person.
No jobs for aspirants in Nalgonda, Mahbubnagar?
The District Employment Exchanges of Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar have been faring much worse than Hyderabad. Though 114 job melas were conducted in the said districts from 2014 to 2017, not a single person out of the 1,095 aspirants got an offer letter. As many as 1,095 aspirants were shortlisted between 2014 - 2017 in 114 job mela. But none got an offer letter. “The reason could be that a lot of aspirants prefer to migrate to Hyderabad for better employment. In comparison, the salaries are low here. Many lose interest because of that,” said an official. “What needs to be done,” the official claims, “is for the towns to be developed such that there are more industries set up near them”