Mumbai: Demand for blue-collar and grey-collar workers is on the rise in India as companies in sectors such as logistics, construction, ecommerce, retail, real estate, healthcare, business process outsourcing (BPO), finance and banking, and manufacturing are ramping up their workforce to cater to increased demand with the easing of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Data from Qjobs, a hiring solution for blue-collar jobs by Billion Careers, a Quess company, showed 39% year-on-year growth in the number of vacancies posted on the platform in February.

“This is owing to the revival of the blue-collar economy post-pandemic,” said Amit Nigam, CEO, Billion Careers. “The Indian economy is currently on a path towards recovery, with GDP growth rates projected at 6-6.8% in 2023-24… this growth is expected to generate more job opportunities for blue-collar (workers),” said Nigam. “There is a rise in demand for workers in industries like manufacturing, logistics and construction as a result of numerous businesses expanding their operations and opening new factories, warehouses and distribution centres across India.”


In addition, rapid technological advancement in various sectors is spurring the demand for skilled manpower. The sharp growth in online shopping and food delivery is leading to a surge in demand for delivery executives and logistics personnel, said Nigam.

The top profiles in demand are BPO and customer care, delivery and warehouse executives, data entry operators and back office workers, driver and field sales, showed data from Billion Careers.

Other profiles include security guards, facility management staff, stewards and chefs, stitching machine operators, welders, carpenters, warehouse workers, construction workers, fitters and electricians, according to data from Betterplace, a leading frontline workforce management platform.

“There is an overall increase in blue collar hiring due to business expansion and growth plans of companies,” said Pravin Agarwala, group CEO, Betterplace. “New hospitals, hotels and restaurants, and retail chains are being built. Manufacturing in sectors such as steel, electronics and garment, among others, are growing. Ecommerce is growing which means a need for more delivery and warehouse personnel. New office spaces are being leased by companies that would need facility management staff.”

Madan Sabnavis, chief economist at Bank of Baroda, said, “Blue-collar growth is more in services booming post-pandemic after a long period of shutdowns. There is demand for people in sectors such as logistics, construction, hospitality, retail, etc.”

In manufacturing, industries such as steel, chemicals and automobiles will need more skilled people to cater to their growth plans, he said.

The blue-collar market is also grappling with the issue of labour shortage, with companies across sectors facing a 15-30% dearth of skilled manpower, according to industry estimates.

“A large part of the demand comes from tier-1 and tier-2 and so people have to migrate and work as the local pool is limited with more companies trying to hire,” said Agarwala.

The shortage of manpower impacts the ability to deliver and delays business goals, he said. Betterplace is working with several organisations to bridge the skill gap by providing them specific skill training for workers before they are deployed.

Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Noida accounted for bulk of the labour demand, according to the data from Billion Careers.

The labour workforce also faces the challenge of high attrition and need to refill vacancies. Betterplace estimates suggest an average monthly attrition of 8-24% in the blue-collar workforce.


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