During the early post-independence decades, India’s economy saw a boom in available employment opportunities. Construction industries were one such industry that saw a sudden boom in employment. It was the result of the increase in construction, as independent India was undergoing rapid change, constantly developing urban centers with the economy growing significantly. The share of the rural areas in construction employment rose from half in 1993-1994 to three-fourths in 2011-12.

Saturation of the architecture and construction industry - Sheet1
Saturation and Unemployement_©ADMASTOR

Even though there were enough job employment opportunities available, there wasn’t enough workforce that could be employed. It was due to a lack of trained personnel, as the Indian economy was primarily agrarian. The Indian economy was characterized by illiteracy and poverty. To resolve the problems that existed, the government introduced five-year plans. The first five-year plans focused on giving practical training, hence five Indian Institute of Technologies were set up, as major technical institutions. It helped in imparting technical education to the pupil. But since the economy was majorly agrarian, and the people lacked basic education, the primary goal was to provide basic education. To guarantee that everyone has access to education, the government became involved, so that education could be provided free of cost to everyone, despite the financial gaps in the economy. This led to the State secondary education boards being set up, under the third-five-year plan.

Due to these contributions made by the government, more people started learning and availing of the available jobs. Over time, not just government colleges, private colleges also started coming up, which increased the number of pupils graduating per year. More people started taking up studies that are related to construction due to the boom in jobs in the construction industry. 

Number of undergraduate engineering students in India 2020, by discipline_©Sanyukta Kanwal

 Jun 20, 2022

According to statistics, there are around 4,200 colleges that offer B. Tech programs and 881 colleges offering architecture programs. The number of intakes varies from roughly 40 to 160 per year. It means that four hundred eighty-four thousand students enrolled at a time in the branch of civil engineering alone. The number of graduates educated in something related to the construction industry increased over the years. The number of job opportunities that are available currently isn’t sufficient to employ all the graduates passing out. The saturation of the construction industry has given rise to unemployment in the field. The industry already has several people, well trained and educated, and has experience in construction. There isn’t scope for more employment opportunities, and the industry is heavily saturated.

Initial encouragement of the technical institutions during the post-independence period led to many institutions coming up. The lack of control over the number of institutions and the number of graduates passing out has led to brain drain and unemployment due to the saturation of industry. 

In the current scenario, people educated in the field of construction resort to migrating to another country, as the country isn’t capable of offering them job opportunities. Due to the uncontrolled growth of the industry, people not educated in construction also seek employment in the construction industry. The industry becomes more saturated than it already was, rendering people who received formal education unemployed.

The migration of educated people has led to a brain drain. It contributed to the quality of the work decreasing due to the employment of unskilled labor in the construction industry. The saturation of the industry is another main reason for the low pay. To generate more employment opportunities, firms hire more workforce than they require, lowering the pay scale. More people struggle in the field due to a lack of employment opportunities despite being educated. 

Architecture is a much newer profession, and the number of practicing architects in the industry is low. The number of firms that can employ the graduating people are even lower. Hence the industry becomes saturated faster than any other construction industry. The lack of availability of jobs forces fresher architects to work jobs that are available, leading to lower pay and a lack of possibility for growth and scope for showcasing their creativity. There are regulations in the case of architects, however, there are no rules in place that would protect the rights of the architects. This again leads to people who aren’t educated in architecture, becoming practicing architects. This again leads to saturation

To conclude, it is difficult to determine what measures could be taken to ensure that everyone in the profession gets employed in the construction industry. Any regulations to be put in place must begin with the education system. Reducing the number of intakes might help in doing so. There are several institutions, where there is no guarantee, for the quality of education imparted. Such educational institutions can be banned, hence ensuring that the education imparted is per the norms set up by the government, and will also help regulate the intake of the students.

REFERENCES

  1. Is architecture heading toward an unemployment crisis? (no date) Archinect. Available at: https://archinect.com/news/article/150192815/is-architecture-heading-toward-an-unemployment-crisis (Accessed: November 2, 2022). 
  2. Perloff, J.M. (no date) The duration of unemployment in the construction industry – journal of labor research, SpringerLink. Springer-Verlag. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02685125 (Accessed: November 2, 2022). 
  3. Perloff, J.M. (no date) The duration of unemployment in the construction industry – journal of labor research, SpringerLink. Springer-Verlag. Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02685125 (Accessed: November 2, 2022). 
Author

Hridya is an architecture student keen on expressing herself through words and visual narratives, hence found architecture to be a common ground that combines these interests. Furthermore, she loves to explore new horizons to stretch her abilities.

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