Skill, Labour, Talent for MSMEs: Nearly three years after President Ram Nath Kovind launched the government job portal MSME Sampark to enable small businesses to hire skilled youth, the portal is perhaps struggling to attract enough job listings to cater to the registered candidates. As of April 19, 2021, there were only 131 job postings with 936 open vacancies for a staggering 4,71,596 jobseekers, according to the available government data. The total recruiters, including national and multinational firms, registered on the platform were 6,080 while 28,746 candidates were placed till April since the portal’s launch, at a rate of around 845 placements per month. The active base of candidates and recruiters on MSME Sampark was 31,941, and 1,913 respectively.
An email sent to MSME Sampark on Saturday didn’t elicit a response for this story till the time of filing this report.
“Demonetisation, which happened around one-and-a-half years before the government launched this portal, already had an adverse effect on MSMEs. The government had decided to launch this portal to help companies find the right candidates and vice versa as there was already over 30 per cent job loss in the sector since many enterprises were shut. We had then questioned the government as to how this would lead to more job creation. Now with the lockdown in certain states, there will be a further impact on jobs,” Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and Chairman, MVIRDC World Trade Center, Mumbai told Financial Express Online.
The portal focused on helping passed out trainees and students of MSME Technology Centres and recruiters to register themselves for the right match. According to MSME Sampark, 18 MSME Technology Centres in India provide training to around 1.5 lakh students annually. The portal had witnessed a 779 per cent jump in the number of job seekers to 4,68,804 and 5,951 recruiters as of January 20, 2021, up from 53,295 job seekers and 5,397 recruiters as of December 31, 2019, according to the FY20 annual report of the MSME Ministry. Jobseekers can filter listed jobs as per their skills including animation, Adobe Photoshop, CNC milling, data entry operator, welding technology, social media marketing, footwear design, industrial robotics, thermal engineering, etc.
“Different government policies, which intend to create more jobs, are good but they are not being taken up to the maximum extent of utilisation. Formulation of policies is not the answer to the problem. One should not expect much job opportunities even in the next six months as well. For that to happen, employers should have jobs in the first place to offer. Government must see that funding is happening to MSMEs on time so that they can tap into more business opportunities and create more jobs that could be listed on this portal as well,” added Kalantri. AIAI represents around 40 industry associations that have over 30,000 MSME members.
Importantly, the 28,746 jobs offered via MSME Sampark represented only a 0.026 per cent share of the 11 crore jobs created by the MSME sector so far. “They (MSMEs) are the backbone of our country, and the MSME sector has created more than 11 crore jobs contributes to one-third of the country’s GDP and around half of its exports,” MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari had said at Amazon’s annual Smbhav event last week.
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