Coimbatore

Graduates, post-graduates apply for conservancy worker posts

Around 7,000 candidates had applied for 549 conservancy worker posts, which requires only a minimum qualification of ability to read and write Tamil.

Around 7,000 candidates had applied for 549 conservancy worker posts, which requires only a minimum qualification of ability to read and write Tamil.  

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It is an indicator of the condition of the job market and applicants’ skill sets, say Corporation officials

A few days ago, S. Arunkumar, a B.E. graduate, was at the Coimbatore Corporation presenting his credentials before a team of officials who were looking to recruit candidates as conservancy workers. The job involves collecting waste from houses and other establishments, sweeping roads and cleaning drains.

Though employed as a mechanical engineer in a manufacturing company, Arunkumar, who had completed B.E. in 2018, said he was looking for a government job and had applied for the conservancy worker post because his mother had wanted him to do so.

P. Gowtham with a masters in commerce was also there to apply for the same post, which only requires a minimum qualification of ability to read and write Tamil and the candidates should produce transfer certificate (from education institutions) only if they had one.

There were also women candidates like I. Rifana who had attended the interview with qualification that was more than what the job demanded. Ms. Rifana holds a masters in economics.

The Corporation officials said around 7,000 candidates had applied for 549 conservancy worker posts and of the 4,700-odd candidates who had turned up a good number was either graduates or post graduates.

Officials observing the recruitment process said they were quite surprised not at the turn out but the qualification that candidates had. And, they were also worried about graduates and post graduates applying for non-skilled posts being an indicator of the condition of the job market and applicants’ skill sets.

Poor skills

But this is not at all surprising, says human resource professional R. Jayanthi. Though the candidates possess bachelors or masters in degree certificates, their skill sets remain poor. Based on their qualification such candidates look for better pay but without the required skill sets they end up earning less than their peers with better skill sets.

In her 15 years experience, Ms. Jayanthi says, she has come across candidates who needed 90% hand-holding to land jobs as their exposure to the industry, job market and ability to market themselves remains poor.

“At a time when the private sector job market is shrinking, it is not surprising to find candidates apply for government jobs, which they think gives security and pays well,” says R.S. Arun of Shankar IAS Academy.

In coaching aspirants for Group IV posts in State Government he has come across candidates with higher qualification. The minimum qualification is class X.

But the candidates who had applied for the conservancy worker posts have their reasons. Mr. Gowtham says he is trying hard to land a job to support his family of five as his father’s wage is insufficient.

“I need a job now more than ever because my attempts at getting a job by writing TNPSC examinations have been unsuccessful and it has been seven years since I passed M.Com.”

For Rifana, who is estranged from her husband, the need to support family is the reason for taking up the job. She says she applied because using the conservancy worker job as a platform she will look at better positions within the Corporation.

“I was told that after becoming a part of the Corporation as a conservancy worker I could look better positions, perhaps in supervisory roles, and that is the reason I applied.”

She further says that she applied also because she thought that the job may not be as taxing as it was with her previous employer. “My last employer not only set impossible targets to achieve but also deducted salary when I was unable to meet those. That is the reason I resigned.”

Mr. Arunkumar also has a similar impression of the job he has applied for. “I was told that as a conservancy worker I need not have to only clean drains or sweep streets. There were similar positions like park maintenance worker or office assistant that I can switch over to and that is the reason I evinced interest in the first place.”

Job security

The candidates say that they are not worried about the perception that society has towards conservancy workers as the security the job offers and retirement benefits outweigh such concerns.

This perception is not wrong, says a placement officer in a city college. Though there is enough vacancy in private sector, most of it is job without career.

This is the reason that after initial enthusiasm and mad rush for certain jobs, people resign to look elsewhere for a job with career and as government job offers it the candidates are ready to take it, though it is underemployment.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 7:44:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/graduates-post-graduates-apply-for-conservancy-worker-posts/article30126448.ece

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