Kumar was just basking the promotion that he had received when the HR at Tech Mahindra called him on June 14 telling him it was his last day. As his world came crashing, Kumar (name changed) looked back at the times when he had told youngsters not to take up engineering. “I should have realized it sooner. I now advise people I meet not to take it up,” he laments. Son of a handloom weaver, Kumar’s first salary was Rs 750 during his first job, Kumar did a diploma before engineering to ease the process of getting a job. Getting work was important since he had to support his two younger brothers. “Engineering wasn’t really my first choice. But back then, the IT sector was booming so my uncle and father asked me to get into the sector. I started working with HAL, gained good experience then when Tech Mahindra offered me a position and I joined them,” Kumar told News18. Nine years later, he was asked to move on. “Maybe there was a sign that I missed. But, again, I never thought the aeronautical engineering sector would be hit. I was shocked and the HR gave me no reason,” he said. He doesn’t regret leaving a government job at HAL, but does, at times, wonder what it would have been like if he had stayed on. “I obviously got better opportunities at Mahindra. But then, now I don’t have a job. So, what’s the point of holding on to good memories,” he said. Getting a job, he added, was difficult owing to his 18 years of experience. “There are very few aerospace structural design profiles. While I’m one of the few people who are qualified for the position, there are still no jobs available. Even when I ask companies to give me a small job, they deny saying that they can’t give me a menial job since I was so qualified,” Kumar said. Another cause of concern for him was his contract letter which barred him from working in competing companies. Even if I want to go to a particular company, I can’t because my contract letter says so. The next company is going to look at my last letter, which totally bars me from working for them,” Kumar said, adding that this entire episode was his worst nightmare come true. He is, however, thankful that he has his brothers to fall back on. “I have school-going child. But my brothers know my situation. My brothers are also working in aerospace. They’re helping me out. But there will always be that one relative who doesn’t understand that losing the job was not my fault. Those are things that I have to watch out for. But, I’ll still say I’m one of the better ones,” Kumar added. During the course of his experience, he has met several people. Now, most of them, including women, were depressed just by the thought of job insecurity. “I remember this one case. This woman had gone on a maternity leave. She came back, and was asked to resign because apparently there was no project for her. This is still middle level. I have met young people with 2-3 years of experience who have lost their confidence in the industry,” Kumar told News18. Jobless and hopeless, to a certain extent, Kumar has now taken it upon himself to advice his relatives and their children to not even think of engineering. His own children, he added, were to be given the same advice when the time came. “They must do pure sciences, arts or commerce. If they still want to go ahead and do engineering, they must start at smaller companies where they get freedom to learn and explore. These days anyone can be an engineer—the entry level percentage for an aspiring engineer is merely 50%. So getting the right platform to work is important. But, let’s face it. Engineering and the IT sector is no more a dream. People who think otherwise must find an alternative,” he said.  The News18 : 19th. July,17


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