“My parents are super proud”
India is facing twin workforce issues: a skills shortage and a rise in the number of graduate job seekers. The Barclays Connect with Work programme aims to bridge the gap by training underprivileged job applicants with the skills needed for work and connecting them with businesses looking for talent. Here Yogita Jadhav from Pune – whose parents “wanted life to be better” for her and her siblings – describes how the programme gave her a career.
For Yogita Jadhav, the daughter of a rickshaw driver and a stay-at-home mother, the move from education to employment was a daunting one.
“My parents wanted me and my siblings to learn very well and to get good jobs so as not to have the problems that they have had,” she says. “They wanted life to be better for us.”
Based in Pune, one of the commercial hubs of India, Yogita had achieved an undergraduate degree in commerce aged 19 and had huge ambitions. But, without the ‘soft skills’ necessary to get through a job interview, she found herself stuck.
“I was not very confident,” she explains. “I was afraid to speak in English and I was frightened about interacting with anybody.”
Before, I didn’t have any confidence. Now I can interact with everybody and I’m ready to take on new responsibilities
Connect with Work recipient
These are problems repeated throughout India, where only 2.3% of the workforce has received skills training and 65% of young graduates are struggling to find jobs – despite companies demonstrating a huge need for skilled employees.
Barclays’ Connect with Work programme aims to address the problem. Working across a variety of industries – including technology, manufacturing, construction, hospitality and leisure – and with a global commitment to placing 250,000 people around the world into work by the end of 2022, it’s enabling a range of businesses to diversify their recruitment efforts and ensuring that talented individuals like Yogita are not overlooked.
Getting with the programme
Together with local Connect with Work partner Global Talent Track, Barclays trains tens of thousands of young people in India every year, before helping to place them into companies that require new talent.
“There is a huge gap between what companies require and need, and the skills that people have,” explains Richa Malviya from the employability venture.
“The training that the programme provides helps people like Yogita, who have had to overcome significant challenges, to achieve more in their life – while also giving companies what they need.”
She says the programme covers “every corner” of India: “We go to very rural areas, giving the people there the ability to get into work and to help their families.”
Connect with Work in numbers
In 2019, Barclays’ Connect with Work programme helped to place 66,000 placed into work, globally, with 4,200 employers. Barclays has committed to supporting 250,000 people into work by 2022. Find out more about the programme.
Yogita heard about the global programme, which is delivered in partnership by organisations like Global Talent Track and Barclays colleagues, through her brother, who had already gone through it. She says it’s taught her skills she didn’t have before, including writing emails, using Excel and improving the way she communicates.
“I learned how to deal with any situation, and how to communicate with different stakeholders,” she says. “Before, I was not able to speak in English, but now I can.”
With support from Barclays volunteers, Yogita says she “learned various skills including interview preparation, resume writing and corporate etiquette that are helping me in my day-to-day life.”
Connect with Work “changed my life”
Following the 10-month training provided by Connect with Work, Yogita ended up securing a placement with Global Talent Track, where she started as a Project Coordinator seven months ago, and is now helping other students to gain employment.
She says having an assigned mentor through the programme has helped her a great deal.
“My manager mentors me constantly – that is why I work with more confidence,” she says, adding that she “enjoys every day” of her new job.
“I’m handling it, I think. I enjoy interacting with people, and I really like managing data – that is one of my favourite things.”
Yogita, who says she likes to read and sing in her spare time, currently coordinates one project, but has ambitions to take on more and ultimately become a project manager. “I want a good position in this company,” she says simply.
“Before, I didn’t have any confidence. Now, I can interact with everybody and I am ready to take on new responsibilities.”
She also wants to be able to do more to help her parents, with whom she lives.
“My parents are super proud,” she says. “They had a dream that all of the siblings would do very good jobs and they are feeling very happy now.”