Bandipora, Sep 19: Director Employment Jammu and Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani, launched a three-month skill development course at the Industrial Training Institute in north Kashmir's Bandipora district on Tuesday.
Wani while speaking to mediapersons said that the actual unemployment rate in Jammu and Kashmir was just 5%, as measured by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), and suggested that private surveys from other institutions were faulty.
"The unemployment rate keeps fluctuating and those private agencies involved in the surveys, we have noted, are faulty in their approach," he said. Wani said the Lieutenant Governor and Chief Secretary have stressed decentralising self-employment schemes at the ground level so that qualified youth without employment could benefit from them.
"There is hope and efforts are being put in place to bring the unemployment rate to zero in the next two to three years," he said.
He said that last year the department conducted 84 job fairs, which attracted hundreds of companies from the private sector offering thousands of jobs. The J&K youth also showed enthusiasm and registered in thousands, but the result was that just two to three thousand youth secured jobs.
"We tried to know the reasons why the placement was not taking place and then we observed that the actual skill gap among our students was not as per market demand," he said. He said even though pass-outs from universities, colleges, and other institutions had educational qualifications, they did not possess the skills required in the market. Taking this into consideration, he said, they immediately introduced skill development programs in each of the 20 districts this year to educate the students with different skills to make them market-ready.
He said they were training 20 -25 students in batches free of cost to impart skills based on actual market expectations. Wani said, the participation was beyond expectation and that more students are showing interest.
Director Employment said they had chosen the job-oriented skill courses according to the district requirement and that so far 17 districts were offering these courses and two more were adding to the queue. Citing the example of Srinagar and Budgam districts, Wani said these places were thriving with tourism, and hotels and restaurants did not find qualified staff. "So in association with IHM, we are training youth in the hospitality sector so that they can land jobs in the hotel industry," he said.