Companies are keen to dedicate funds towards projects that can create the maximum impact, says Learning solutions company TeamLease EdTech in their latest survey, ‘Aligning education and skilling in the CSR agenda’. According to the findings, companies are directing majority of their funds towards imparting employability skills to School or College Dropouts (22.8%), Women (20.4%), and People with Disabilities or PwD (18%).
The survey analyzes how India Inc. is spending their CSR funds within the education/skilling cohort, key challenges in the process and the future aspirations of organizations while aligning their CSR agenda.
The survey also captures the current CSR ecosystem; 95.83% of companies direct their CSR funds towards Education, Vocational Skilling, Livelihood Improvement, followed by 50% for Health, Eradicating Hunger, Poverty and Malnutrition, Safe Drinking Water, and Sanitation. Close to 45.83% funds are also dedicated to initiatives that promote Gender Equality, Women Empowerment, Old Age Homes, Reducing Inequalities. In fact, organizations who divulge their funds into multiple arenas also dedicate a portion towards education – 46% of the respondents stated that they deploy more than 50% of their funds towards Skilling and Education. While the intention and efforts are quite strong, companies are confronted with many a challenges, especially while implementing their CSR programmes.
According to the survey, which was conducted with over 100 companies from across India, nearly 70% expressed an intention to increase their CSR spends in education/skilling in the next fiscal. Incidentally, majority of these companies want to allocate funds towards imparting vocational skills, which is the need of the hour to address the rising unemployability.
However, many organizations have been facing pertinent challenges while implementing their CSR programmes. Elaborating on this, Neeti Sharma, Co-Founder & President, TeamLease EdTech, said, “Accessibility, infrastructure, deployment continues to be a concern for companies. 70% companies mentioned that connecting the right candidates to the right opportunities is their major perplexity. Additionally, 42% attributed lack of infrastructure as a cause for distress. Even the pandemic hindered organic implementation of the CSR programmes, especially reverse migration.”
The good news is that the optimism for CSR programmes towards skilling and education is expected to continue in 2022. 85% companies have already revamped their CSR initiatives, aligned to COVID impact. Moreover, 80% companies have taken up special initiatives already to monitor and measure impact closely and 40% are even spending more to analyze impact better.
Said Shantanu Rooj, Founder & CEO, TeamLease EdTech, “India does not have a job crisis rather a skill crisis – we don’t have enough employable talent to cater to the jobs that are there. Multiple measures have been taken to improve our education, but it is yet to solve the impending skill gap. We also face a high dropout crisis in higher education, further impacting employability. It is welcoming to see that corporates are looking at further increasing their spends in education/skilling- close to two third of the respondents are planning to invest further.”