With more than 15 lakh candidates trained under various skill development programmes and thousands of companies ready to hire, LinkedIn could not let go off this huge opportunity in India. The blue collared job revolution might not be exactly new but the world's largest professional networking company has just put its foot into it. This may be transformational not just for LinkedIn but also for the blue collared segment in India, to get into an organised platform.
To be sure, the government has been toying with the idea of an online platform to connect job seekers with companies, but nothing effective has come so far. There are start-ups such as Quikr and Aasanjobs, already catering the segment. But the entry of a biggie such as LinkedIn is expected to create a significant impact in the blue collared job segment.
So what made LinkedIn which is primarily a white collar jobs platform to get into the blue collared segment. The opportunity that this category presents is the main reason. With companies looking to hire such workers in large numbers, there is immense potential for platforms like LinkedIn to grow. Especially with a thrust on manufacturing, there is expected to be a lot of demand for manual labour.
"The vision of LinkedIn is to create an economic opportunity for every individual. Our dream has always been to expand to all professionals. It hasn't been to restrict them. The core product in India is really doing healthily. In some ways, this is a pilot to think about our future", said Akshay Kothari, India head of LinkedIn.
As a first step, the company has tied up with IL&FS Skills, a vocational training services provider to help trained students from IL&FS get a job through LinkedIn. Its interface will enable students to create a profile, access learning content, build their network by connecting with seniors and get a job.
The programme will begin with an initial batch of 400 job seekers looking for careers in hospitality sector. LinkedIn will use this pilot programme to understand the scale of market and will then expand the programme to other disciplines.
India is not the first country where LinkedIn has got into blue collared jobs segment. It is already present in what is known as the "middle jobs segment" in the US.
“For anything to do with India, the scale is pretty massive. We are looking at 100 million workers in India,” said Kothari.