Contemporary Challenges in Social Science Management: Skills Gaps and Shortages in the Labour Market: Volume 112A

Cover of Contemporary Challenges in Social Science Management: Skills Gaps and Shortages in the Labour Market

Table of contents

(13 chapters)

Purpose: This study aims to evaluate, explore, and characterise the perceptions of the Indian private sector employers on the 21st century 4Cs (critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration) skills gap, which affects their productivity.

Need for Study: This research aims to shed light on the significant issue of the soft skills gap, precisely the 4Cs skills in India. Soft skills, including the 4Cs, are complex and crucial for organisations, and the shortage of these skills among the workforce is a growing concern. This research addresses enterprises’ challenges in bridging this gap by exploring different ways to utilise these skills.

Methodology: Fifty-six respondents were interviewed based on cluster sampling. An invitation was sent to 40 private sector organisations from five different industries. Only 15 organisations agreed to participate in the interview process.

Findings: A total of seven were generated from the data, which included: (1) explicit and timely feedback; (2) compassion and understanding; (3) motivation deficiency; (4) lack of collaboration synergies; (5) lack of practical knowledge; (6) interpersonal skills; and (7) creating team culture.

Implication: Given the prevalent skills gap, it is challenging for Indian industries and organisations to remain competitive in the global market. Investing in the education system, providing students with the necessary academic and vocational skills, and equipping them with soft skills, such as the 21st century 4Cs skills is essential to address this issue. Investment is necessary to prepare the workforce to meet the demands of emerging businesses and technologies, ensuring that industries and organisations remain competitive.


Purpose: Significant structural changes are currently occurring in the Indian labour sector. Artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies are redefining the activities and skill requirements for various jobs in the healthcare sector. These adjustments have been accelerated by the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, along with other considerations.

Need for the Study: Skills shortages, job transitions, and the deployment of AI at the company level are the three main challenges confronting the Indian labour market. This chapter aims to discuss policy alternatives to address a rising need for health workers and provide an overview of changes to the healthcare sector’s labour market.

Methodology: A review of the available literature was conducted to determine the causes of the widening skill gap despite a vibrant and prodigious young population. The background of the sustainable labour market is examined in this chapter, with a focus on workforce migration and mobility.

Findings: This chapter gives a comparative review of recent policy papers and evidence, as well as estimates of the health workforce and present Indian datasets. Furthermore, it highlights how important it is for all people concerned to invest in today’s workforce to close the skill gap and create better future opportunities.

Practical Implications: This chapter’s findings imply a severe shortage of human intellectual capital in India and a need to bridge this gap in the Indian labour market.


Introduction: Work-based learning (WBL) bridges the gap between academic theory and exposure to real-life situations where students’ knowledge is filtered and applied to relevant workplace environments.

Purpose: This study aims to examine students’ and employers’ voices on their perspectives of WBL. It focuses on students reading for an undergraduate degree in Bachelor’s in Commerce in two majors, with a specialisation in Public Policy at the University of Malta.

Methodology: Questionnaires were sent to students to obtain their views on the experience and benefits of WBL. This was followed by structured interviews conducted with employers and undergraduate students to provide an overview of their respective work-based experiences. WBL providers were asked to draw up reports on the students’ performance. The feedback which emerged from the structured interviews on the nature of these experiences was analysed. These tools helped to calibrate and refine the nature of these practices.

Findings: The study’s findings show that WBL experiences help students increase technical knowledge, improve their soft skills, and learn new tools, sought after by employers. Feedback emanating from employers’ perspectives serves to temper the University course curriculum to ensure that it is relevant to the requirements of modern-day society.


Purpose: Preserving a country’s culture is crucial for its sustainability. Handicraft is a key draw for tourism destinations; it protects any civilisation’s indigenous knowledge and culture by managing the historical, economic, and ecological ecosystems and perfectly aligns with sustainable development. It has a significant role in creating employment, especially in rural regions and is an essential contributor to the export economy, mainly in developing nations. The study focuses on the skills required and existing gaps in the handicraft industry, its development and prospects by considering women and their role in preserving and embodying the traditional art of making handicrafts.

Approach: A framework has been developed for mapping and analysing the skills required in the handicraft sector using econometric modelling; an enormous number of skills have been crowdsourced from the respondents, and machine learning techniques have been used.

Findings: The findings of the study revealed that employment in this area is dependent not only on general or specialised skills but also on complex matrix skills ranging from punctuality to working in unclean and unsafe environments, along with a set of personal qualities, such as taking initiatives and specific skills, for example polishing and colour coding.

Implications: The skills mapping technique utilised in this study is applicable globally, particularly for women indulged in casual work in developing nations’ handicrafts industry. The sustainable development goals, tourism, and handicrafts are all interconnected. The research includes understanding skills mapping, which provides insights into efficient job matching by incorporating preferences and studying the demand side of casual working by women in the handicraft sector from a skills perspective.


Purpose: This chapter explores the two major schemes applicable to skill development in India: Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion (SANKALP) and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY).

Need for the Study: The primary objective of this research is to check the role of these schemes in enhancing the skills of socio-economically stressed community members for their livelihoods. The secondary aim is to analyse the outcomes of these schemes through a qualitative inquiry.

Methodology: A survey was conducted, and the data was collected from trainees of the skill development programmes. Based on the responses, a qualitative content analysis was performed, which showed that most trainees have the thirst and urge to enhance their life skills for a minimalistic livelihood.

Findings: The study concluded that though there are many schemes, only PMKVY is active. They focus on more than just youth communities. Instead, they consider individuals in different age categories.

Practical Implications: The Government of India (GOI) is progressing towards a healthy economy to compete with other countries. For this mission to be achieved, skill and labour development is paramount. Appropriate training must be provided and administrated through government schemes.


The need for the study is justified by the fact that scientists and policy makers around the world are trying to identify the potential threat of digitalisation, looking for ways to adapt to new changes and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the information society and the knowledge economy and to mitigate risks. Digitalisation also changes the labour market – using information and communication technology (ICT) in the working process opens up new opportunities. Moving from a traditional office to another environment, combining work with private life and recreation more effectively, while remote work deals with costly jobs, spaces and congestion on the city streets. The study aims to assess the development of remote work in the European Union (EU) and Latvia, assessing its effectiveness and the possibilities for long-term use by analysing its impact on the transformational directions of the economy. During the analysis, the following findings were made: identified the potential and problems of the deployment of remote work in Latvia, determined the main challenges of remote work and policies to improve the situation. The analysis employs theoretical and empirical research methods. The theoretical method of analysis and deduction provides information on its impact on the economy from the scientific literature on remote work and its diverse aspects. The comparative method is widely used to identify aspects of remote work distribution and economic development and their interaction. Practical implications of research – to make recommendations on policy directions to improve the situation, which would promote the further development of remote work.


Purpose: This study aims to identify communication speech acts and transaction terms in online stores (Olshop) during live streaming on Facebook amid the COVID-19 pandemic and to understand communication patterns between sellers and buyers when shopping on Facebook live streaming in Indonesia.

The Need for Research: This research is motivated by the skill gap arising from increasing buying and selling transactions through live streaming on Facebook. Cultural and demographic shifts, along with the widespread availability of modern technologies and marketing 2.0 have resulted in the global population adopting social media at rates far beyond our use of the Internet, making a compelling case by example and analogy that social media has the potential to level the playing field and is effective in reaching their target market.

Methodology: The type of research is descriptive-qualitative using corpus data instruments. The data collection technique in this study was carried out by reading and observing the data and listening to speeches about buying and selling women’s equipment from various online stores on Facebook. Then select and sort the data designated as forms, strategies, and functions of speech acts in buying and selling transactions during live streaming on Facebook. The data analysis technique has three steps: (1) reducing the amount of data; (2) presenting the data; and (3) concluding.

Findings: The results show that there are four types of speech acts between sellers and buyers in the live-streaming online shop on Facebook, namely, assertive, directive, expressive, and commissive speech acts.


Introduction: The growing body of research on employee engagement (EE) has resulted in a new human resource management paradigm. Human resource management researchers are investigating how EE can help with employee retention in higher education.

Purpose: The purpose of this chapter was to determine the quantity, growth trend, global distribution, top journals and authors, dominant countries, and dominant subject areas in EE in the higher education sector.

Methodology: The researcher employed a bibliometric analysis technique using VOS viewer software on one of the worldwide used databases, Scopus. Four combinations of the words were combined in this work using the logical operators TITLE-ABS-KEY (‘Employee engagement’ AND ‘Higher education’ OR ‘Higher educational institutions’ OR ‘universities’), thereby broadening the scope. This bibliometric analysis analysed 139 documents on EE scholarship.

Findings/Practical Implications: EE in higher education is still a developing phenomenon; this review aims to educate and inform contemporary researchers by providing an overview of the field’s current state.


Purpose: This chapter explores the changing global dynamics of employability and the current skill gaps among college students. Employability is defined as the measure of how desirable an individual is in the workforce, that is, their skills and knowledge. This chapter is centred on the students’ existing skills, missing skills, and the skill requirements of different industries.

Methodology: For this study, both primary and secondary data have been collected. Case studies have been used to analyse the skill gaps among students and industry requirements. Primary data has been collected from Indian students and case studies from other countries.

Findings: After conducting primary surveys and analysing case studies, we were able to conclude that there are serious skill gaps among students – especially in industries related to new emerging technologies. Educational institutes are not keeping pace with technological changes, and, in some cases, are not taking care of students’ interests. This is a serious problem for unemployed youth around the world.

Practical Implications: This chapter will help design the curriculum, addressing core issues of skill shortages in the labour market in developing and underdeveloped countries, decreasing the labour shortage and increasing employment, and helping countries’ national income.

Significance: This study is important as it addresses the issue of unemployment by providing a clear understanding of the present needs of industries. Educational institutions and the government will be able to design the best curriculum and education policies to provide the youth with all the necessary skills to help them fulfil the needs of industries.


Purpose: This chapter addresses the skills shortages in Kosovo’s labour market, emphasising the service sector. The labour market economy is very dynamic, and Kosovo, with the youngest population in Europe, also has the highest unemployment level among youths. Therefore, we aim to analyse the mismatches of the skills demand in the labour market.

Methodology: The scientific methods used in this chapter are quantitative methods applying analytical and critical approaches based on economic theory. In this chapter, we analysed secondary data from Labour Force Surveys (LFS) and official reports such as the World Bank and UNDP. We have also conducted primary research with the employees of SMEs in the service sector, with specifically related questionnaires for descriptive issues.

Findings: The logit model used in this research has shown goodness of fit and yielded significant results. Based on the empirical findings, we have found a need for some main soft skills such as communication skills, language skills, ICT skills, and additional training to help gain employability skills. These findings suggest that there is a need for more skills in the service sector, significantly impacting the employees’ job performance and the job seeker’s level of employability.

Significance: Noticeably, countries that are still in the transition process face inequalities in the labour market and have a very high level of unemployment. The findings can be used in analysing demand-side management of the labour market and mismatching of skills in transition economies by policy makers.


Purpose: This chapter investigates the current skill gap in small-scale industries, the need for skill development and digital training in micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), and reviews policies for skill development and solutions.

Need for the Study: While the legislature and organisations have initiated various considerations for the successful implementation of the Skill Development System in the country’s MSMEs, there are significant challenges that must be addressed quickly to fill the skill gap in workers in this digital era.

Research Methodology: Secondary data has been used for the chapter review. Analysis has been done based on review data from women handloom and handicraft workers in the micro or craft industry who received a Star rating from the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) partners in Lucknow. For data collection, a questionnaire based on random sampling was used. The data were analysed using a rudimentary weighted average and a percentage technique.

Findings: The studies provide answers to some fundamental problems: are small industry employees indeed mobilised to be skilled outside the official schooling system? Is the training delivery mechanism adequate to prepare pupils for employment? Would industries be willing to reduce minimum qualification criteria to foster skill development?

Practical Implication: Non-technical aptitudes digital and soft skills for workers in this sector should be emphasised in MSMEs, and significant reforms in MSME sectors and capacity-building education and training programmes should be implemented in the Indian industry to generate small and medium enterprises production and employment.

Cover of Contemporary Challenges in Social Science Management: Skills Gaps and Shortages in the Labour Market
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Contemporary Studies in Economic and Financial Analysis
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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