I represent India – a land with a billion population, with 490 million labour workforce, 93% of which is in the informal and the balance 7% are busy positioning self interest as national interest where less than 2% of the workforce has had any kind of vocational training, where 58% of our graduates suffer from under employment, a land which since 1991 has witnessed reforms across various segments except in labour.
My name is Ritu, am Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of TeamLease who within 9 years of its inception have left a mark of being one of the largest organised private sector employers in the country. Over the last 6 years we have hired 1 person every 5 minutes incomparison to the Government run Employment exchanges which has been able to provide 0.2 million jobs since 1947. In addition I represent Indian Staffing Federation which has been recently formed between 8 of India’s largest Staffing Companies representing 50% of the over 0.6 million temps in India in the formal sector.
Its important to mention in this context that we have two customers in our business – user employer and candidate. Our business prospers and grows because of the good will we have manage to create by helping our fresh out of college youth and job market outsiders who till sometime back did not know how to get into the labour market.
From a public policy perspective the case for temporary staffing in India can be clearly elucidated through the following points
· It definitely reduced unemployment as well as underemployment and gives the country access to a liquidity provider
· It gives outsider access – those less fortunate, housewives, retired personnel
· Acts as a stepping stone for a permanent job – over 50% of our temps get absorbed by the user company, 45% of them leaves us within an average tenure of 10-12 months to get a permanent job elsewhere. In India we call temporary staffing – Apprenticeship on steroids
· Helps lower the arbitrage offered by the unorganised or informal or rogue sector of employment
· Boosts entrepreneurship and productivity
· Employment being the best form of social security reduced the burden of cost of social security for those unemployed
· And lastly and extremely pertinently for India improves employability
What is the challenge in India
· Regulatory Cholesterol – 56 labour laws which have seen little updation since instituted in in the 70s and in the 40s
· Lack of enforcement
– More jobs going to the informal sector
– lower human/ organizational capital
– Unorganized Temping; political/ criminal nexus
– Blue collar wage differential
What are we doing to improve the situation?
· We have been invited by the Planning Commission to work together with them on 12th Plan to recommend changes and improvement in the labour law regime and how we can move jobs from the informal sector to the formal sector
· We are working closely with the government to understand the concerns and issues of the unions with relation to contract labour
· We are participating alongwith the government in tripartite discussions with Unions to convey what we actually do rather than let them dwell on their assumption of what we do. Using the platform to convey that we comply by every labour law in the land, that we have a set of best practices which benefit the temps, that we bind ourselves with a strict code of conduct.
· There are over 45000 trade unions in India. Any 7 employees can come together to form one. We are seeking better and more organised representation of the Unions as well to help understand each other better.
· We are also working closely with National Skill Development Council to become a source of realtime information on the jobs that are in demand so that they can invest in developing those skills nationwide
· We are also in discussion with the Government to float a special Apprentice scheme for the temp workforce with higher stipends to be paid to negate the informal sectors offering where gross wages is equivalent to the net wages.
· At TeamLease we have established a network of over 200 training centers connect where we intend to provide blended vocational training to kids who walk into our offices. In addition we have set up our own university so that we can train candidates with the right kind of vocational training which makes them readily employable.
In Conclusion Three fatal flaws/ assumptions that everyone who treats temporary staffing with contempt and suspicion
- Idealism the good is the enemy of the great
- Averaging one size fits all
- Stability the world is predictable and linear
and lastly That Job Creation and Growth are driven by Investments – Besides a good infrastructure the only way to increase Job creation and growth in any economy is to mandatorily have an effective skill development mechanism and an efficient labour regime
Rituparna Chakraborty; Co-Founder – TeamLease Services Private Limited