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Future Perfect - Enabling upward socio-economic mobility for youth from low income families

Campaign by Nudge Lifeskills Foundation

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The problem of youth employability has significant implications for underserved youth, their families and communities. India has a high rate of unemployment and endemic underemployment. 

The unemployment rate among youth aged 15-29 years in India is 20.2% in urban and 16.0% in rural areas, significantly higher than the overall unemployment rate among working-age adults, which is 8.0% in urban and 5.4% in rural areas (source PLFS 2018-19). The unemployment rate among the 15-24 year age group is even higher at 23% (source: ILO 2020 estimate). 

In addition, 180m young people are expected to join the labour force in the next 15 years. As a more significant section of the population moves away from agriculture (India expects to lose about 13.5m jobs in agriculture between 2017-2022), there is a lack of sustainable non-agricultural livelihood options in rural areas. As youth seek livelihood opportunities in urban areas, they encounter a significant mismatch between their capabilities and the skill sets employers are seeking. Even youth who have completed high school or college-level education often lack the language skills and personality to get a job, retain employment and build a better future for themselves and their families.  

The service sector is one of eight industries expected to create over 100 million jobs by 2025 (Economic Times, 2019). Service sector jobs are also highly aspirational for India’s youth. Given these reasons, the service sector presents an opportunity for youth to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty. Employers in the service sector, one of India's fastest-growing sectors, have highlighted the need for youth to enter the job market with skills like communication, problem-solving, interpersonal skills and career management.

India is the 5th largest economy in the world and has pulled over 270m people out of poverty between 2006-2017. However, 369m people still live below the poverty line, of which 50m live in extreme poverty. India’s HDI rank at 131 is far below the world average.

The/Nudge’s purpose is to alleviate poverty sustainably and at scale. One of the critical levers for poverty reduction is the provision of livelihood opportunities and income in the hands of the poor, which in turn creates agency for individuals to address their problems and improve their quality of life. Livelihood creation requires a range of interventions that generate opportunities for employment, enable individuals to learn the skills necessary, and facilitate the employment of skilled individuals.

Future Perfect is conceptualised out of months of intensive on-ground research with top employers in the service sector and unemployed youth. The study indicated that English proficiency and 21st-century skills remain the top two skills required by employers and the youth for employment.

Post the research; the program went through multiple iterations and pilots to design the most congruous program for the employers and the youth. Future Perfect Program is now a 2-month model which focuses on building 21st-century skills and English proficiency through behavioural nudges and experiential learning, thus enabling employability amongst the youth.   

Future Perfect is a service-sector employability program which works with unemployed and underemployed youth from underprivileged communities who typically migrate to urban areas for jobs that meet their needs and aspirations. It is a holistic, trainer-supported employability program that delivers languages and foundational life skills (workplace communication, interpersonal skills, problem-solving, creative thinking, interview and career management). 

Future Perfect is delivered virtually, hence circumventing mobility issues and enhancing access. The program leverages technology to keep complexity low and accessibility and reach high. The curriculum and content are aligned with industry expectations and geared towards language skills, personality development and behavioural change. 

Through this holistic learning approach, the program aims at achieving the following:

  1. Mobilise youth from low-income and marginalised communities for the program.
  2. an average 1 level jump on the CEFR (Common European Framework of References for Languages) which builds the trained youth to be proficient in workplace English
  3. Making significant gains in their problem-solving abilities in a professional setting
  4. Improve their interpersonal skills, support participants to ace interviews, and prepare them for the workplace. 
  5. 60%+ graduates would be in employment or education at the end of the course (<40% of students in the NEET category - Not in Employment, Education, or Training.
  6. Start in a workplace with plans for career growth through interactions with corporate partners and mentorships during the course.

With your support, we will mobilize youth to enable online learning for 4,800+ youth in one year, putting them on the path to meaningful employment by improving their English and life skills, guided by trainers.

In addition, your financial support would help us invest in the technology, monitoring and evaluation resources and the program teams to deliver on the Future Perfect program priorities. We will use tools and technologies to engage students with learning content, train the trainers of the program, conduct assessments at the program's beginning and completion and manage the program's day-to-day operations such as tracking mobilization, daily attendance, student performance, and managing engagements with colleges and with employer-partners.

Organisers
Nudge Lifeskills Foundation

Nudge Lifeskills Foundation

Beneficiary Charity

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