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New Delhi: Job applications of around 70% of Gen Z aspirants, or those below 24 years, were rejected during the covid-19 pandemic.

A fresh survey released on World Youth Skills Day Thursday, by job networking platform LinkedIn said this is due to lack of opportunities, slower recruitment process, and more competition.

The trend points to higher youth unemployment in the country. India is witnessing a steep increase in joblessness since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country last year as economic growth took a beating and employers retrenched millions from work, both in formal and informal sector.

"As one of the youngest nations in the world, India’s future of work will be driven by Gen Z professionals, whose new-age skills can revitalise our economic recovery. But 70% of Gen Z Indians had their job applications rejected due to hiring challenges during the pandemic. Employers must treat this as a distress call to urgently reimagine how they hire and develop talent to prevent young professionals from being left behind," said Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn.

The study claimed "Gen Z Indians cited fewer opportunities, followed by ‘slower recruitment’ and ‘higher competition’ as the top three reasons affecting their job search today. Other barriers in pursuing job opportunities include lack of guidance for skilling and increased familial responsibilities due to Covid-19".

The survey said around 90% of Gen Z job applicants are demotivated after job offer rejections. And at least 51% of Gen Z Indians want employers to make skill-based hires today, as work experience remains a challenge

"As upskilling and collaboration have become workforce essentials in today’s challenging professional landscape, every second Gen Z professional (51%) wants employers and leaders to make skill-based hires today. In fact, Gen Z Indians are sharpening their focus on upgrading their skills to improve their self-confidence (47%), widen career opportunities (45%), and fast-track growth (34%) and productivity (32%)," the survey said.

While tech skills remain a strong priority in today’s rapidly digitising economy, India’s youth is also recognising the growing importance of human skills including soft skills.

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