Over 52% gig workers feel work environment makes it difficult to upskill, find new jobs: Report

June 7, 2023

(PTI) Over 52 percent of gig workers or contract employees feel that their work environment makes it challenging for them to upskill or find new job opportunities, according to a report.

According to the report by CIIE.CO, a startup platform built at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad, most young respondents increasingly look towards gig economy platforms for their first jobs.

However, over 52 percent of gig workers said the gig working environment makes it difficult to upskill or find new job opportunities, it added.

The report further analyzed that gigs offered by platforms initially hook individuals with the opportunity of short-term income but keep them employed for prolonged periods of time in a career without a long-term growth trajectory.

“Only about one in three individuals we spoke to had clear plans for shifting jobs in the near future. This was despite the vast majority reportedly working overtime in their current shifts and having no resources for up-skilling at the jobs they held,” said the report.

This skills gap, however, has another significant impact on the long-term growth of the economy, the report said, adding the data has revealed that platforms today are increasingly becoming the source of a first job for young graduates leaving university.

If they are not upskilled and placed in good organizations with better income, it leads to underutilized human capital within the country, it stated.

The CIIE.CO report is based on a survey among 4,070 platform-based gig workers, including high-earning knowledge workers and daily-wage agricultural workers.

The report further said that 50 percent of platform workers today find their jobs through traditional referral networks despite 80 percent having internet access.

“In many ways, gig workers are channels through which the old and new India interact. We’re in 2022, it is about time that each of us has access to our own data. Enabling gig workers to own and use their employment, financial, health, etc. data will improve their well-being and unlock the growth of both traditional and new economies,” CIIE.CO Partner – Insights Supriya Sharma said.

Being powered by declining internet and hardware costs, technology-based platforms are becoming a lifeline for employment at a time when traditional sectors dwindle in size and reach, it said.

Empowering the gig worker with owning and using their own data would improve their well-being, including job prospects and financial health, the report added.