Employment exchanges are supposed to arrange placements for the unemployed persons registered with them. However,in the past six months of the Akhilesh Yadav government,this activity has come to a standstill.
The staff in the exchanges at Lucknow and other districts have no time to deal with companies offering jobs,or organise employment fairs and career counselling programmes,as they are busy selecting beneficiaries for the unemployment allowance scheme.
In its poll manifesto,the Samajwadi Party had promised to give an allowance of Rs 1,000 per month to unemployed youths. When the party won the election, youths rushed to employment exchange offices to get themselves registered and submit applications for allowance. The employment offices are currently receiving more than 1,000 applications daily for registration and allowance. All other activity has come to a standstill.
Employment exchanges are supposed to organise job fairs every month,where private firms offer jobs to registered unemployed youths.
Job fairs were organised regularly until February. After the staff got busy receiving applications for registration of unemployed youths and for the allowance in March,no job fair was organised, said an official.
Sources in the Directorate of Training and Employment said that nearly 26,000 youths were provided jobs in 2011,and 18,000 in 2010 in job fairs organised across the state. Companies from BPOs,hotel industry,information technology,automobiles,etc participated in these job fairs.
The government also provides funds to employment exchanges for organising career counselling programmes to make students aware of job-oriented courses and job opportunities. But no such programme has been organised in the past months.
Each employment exchange office has a target to organise at least 10 career counselling workshops in a year beginning from July-August. But no such programme has been organised so far this year, said an official.
Training and Employment Director Anil Kumar said,We have five to 20 staff members in employment exchange offices and they are busy with registration of unemployed youths and selection of beneficiaries for unemployment allowance. The staff has to check documents,upload data of applicants on the website,select eligible candidates and ensure transfer of allowance into their bank accounts.
Kumar said he could not say when next the job fair or career counselling programme would be organised. Officials said they do not even have time to check for pending proposals from companies offering jobs or expressions of interest in participating in job fairs.
The Employment Department is also busy preparing for the events where the chief minister distributes unemployment allowance. Such events have so far been organised in Lucknow,Jhansi,Lalitpur and Etawah. Akhilesh will distribute allowance to around 12,000 youths in Azamgarh on Tuesday.
The state government has so far received around 9.22 lakh applications for unemployment allowance. A maximum of 46,948 applications have been received in Ambedkar Nagar,followed by 45,522 in Allahabad,37,628 in Azamgarh,34,531 in Varanasi,34,192 in Jaunpur. The state now has an estimated 40 lakh unemployed.