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India's graduates need soft skills to benefit from the platform economy- report

Graduate trainees from India's Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) need to obtain soft skills to help them navigate the country’s flourishing platform economy according to a new report.

The report published by Quest Alliance and Tandem Research is based on extensive desk research and in-depth qualitative interviews with various stakeholders in the platform economy in India.

According to the report, employability is now a bigger problem than unemployment in India, with graduates from ITIs and universities leaving the institutions with just trade skills but not soft skills which are key in the platform sector.

The last few years have seen the proliferation of digital work platforms in India, making the platform economy one of the biggest job creators in the country at a time when job growth is low and underemployment is severe. India, along with China and the US, is set to dominate the global platform economy by 2020, the report adds.

Working in ride-hailing, e-commerce, logistics, or taking on online work and freelancing will require an additional skill set including entrepreneurial skills, communication skills, digital fluency, and financial literacy, the report stresses.

"New roles are being created, however they require workers to have new skills and competencies which the training ecosystem in India, consisting of various educational and training institutions, is not currently equipped to impart."- report.

While the publishers see the potential of platforms to create jobs, they are also cognizant of the precarity of platform work and suggest that in its current form, it should not be considered a long term solution to India’s labor market woes but rather a stopgap where workers can weather current difficulties.


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