'80% employers satisfied with quality of engg grads hired'

Eighty per cent employers are 'very satisfied' with the quality of engineering graduates hired over the past year, a Ficci-World Bank survey has said.

The survey finds three possible explanations for the improvement in satisfaction levels. First, firms are using increasingly more systematic processes for recruitment, increasing their chances of recruiting more suitable candidates and investing heavily in training new recruits, often using innovative training processes that can last up to one year.

Second, colleges have been investing in improving the work-readiness of their students through closer collaboration with industry and a greater focus on soft-skills training, such as oral communication, teamwork and time management.

Finally, the market slump since 2009 and the expansion of private engineering colleges has meant an oversupply of engineering graduates, allowing firms to be more selective during the recruitment process due to a greater choice of candidates. "The quantitative data do not allow us to separate the relative importance of the three factors, but our qualitative data indicate that the three likely reinforced each other during the past five years," Ficci said.

However, regardless of the improvement in soft skills, the survey data unambiguously points to a persistent skill deficit in the technical ability of engineering graduates, who are unable to successfully apply their technical knowledge to real world engineering problems.