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Getting Dividend from Demography: Skills Policy and Labour Management in Contemporary Indian Industry

Orlanda Ruthven

Journal of South Asian Development, 2018, vol. 13, issue 3, 315-336

Abstract: This article is an analytical reflection based on a personal account of working with one of India’s new-generation vocational training and placement agencies implementing the government’s skills policy after its revamping in 2009. As the author struggles to search for decent jobs on behalf of trained candidates, she provides insights into the state of blue-collar jobs and the troubled relationships between company ‘human resources’ (HR) and industrial relations (IR) managers and their workforce. While the public programmes and policies referred to here are ostensibly about skill, the article reveals them to have quite a different purpose for industry: they offer ways by which employers can not only secure the flow of casual workers but also tie them in, thereby stabilizing their workforce in an era where the ‘permanent worker’ is no longer an acceptable or viable category. Presenting a backdrop of moral ambiguity and dilemma, the article highlights the disconnect between the declared intent of government ‘skills’ policy and the way in which it is actually realized, from the viewpoint of employer, student and vocational training provider.

Keywords: Labour; skill development; migration; India; industrial relations (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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