Throughout the world, a large proportion of youth are un– or under– employed. In Australia, university graduate employment rates are at a twenty year low at 68% across disciplines. In India, this is particularly problematic due to the size of the youth population. In 2009, the Indian National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) released a report stating that India has the world’s largest population of people of working-age, predicted to be 920 million by 2020.
By sheer potential workforce size, India has the potential to be a world-leader in the knowledge economy. Sadly, unless a national educational strategy is carefully designed and followed-through, the country also has the potential to have the highest number of unhappy under-employed youth and unemployed people requiring social assistance. The onus is on the education system and educators to make outstanding contributions to student learning such that graduates are employable.
Employability means that graduates have developed the capacity to obtain and/or create work. Furthermore, employability means that institutions and employers have supported the student knowledge, skills, attributes, reflective disposition and identity that graduates need to succeed in the workforce. Embedding employability into the curriculum, assessment and other learning activities must begin in primary school and be scaled-up throughout each students’ schooling.