Covid ruins job-seekers but placement agencies do roaring business

Kolkata, April 10 (IANS) Scores of desperate job-seekers are falling prey to mushrooming ‘placement’ agencies and loosing money in Covid-hit Indian cities.

For one whole year, 3 Steps Aviation in Kolkata’s New Town has been marketing their aviation training courses as a prelude to placement in the aviation sector.

They charge between Rs 25,000 and Rs 1 lakh for monthly courses, promising to arrange selection tests and interviews for job-ready candidates in different segments of the aviation industry.

The lowest rates are for the ground utility sector, while the highest is for cabin crew.

Batches after batches of students are trapped by tele-callers operating on the databases of job sites. Once the job-seekers pay, they are pressurised for upgradation to more expensive courses and then told to wait for job interviews.

IANS spoke to 11 students of the December and March batches of 3 Steps Aviation and found none in either batches had actually been put up for a job interview, let alone get a job. Enquiries revealed that the company has not arranged for a single job interview since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“But they have been fleecing batches after batches, promising the moon,” said a March batch student, who had half-a-dozen job offers in top hotels through campus interviews which were revoked due to the Covid pandemic.

“How can they offer interviews and jobs when no one is recruiting and even the existing staff are forced to take huge salary cuts,” asked veteran aviation executive Samit Ghosh, adding: “This is plain cheating.”

Ghosh said that there are at least half-a-dozen such ‘placement’ agencies in Kolkata alone, and many more elsewhere, operating in tandem with the job websites which trap and dupe job-seekers.

Some of them like Frankfinn did provide jobs in the past, but ever since the outbreak of the pandemic, jobs in hospitality and aviation sectors have dried up.

While Ghosh said that it is understsndable, he resented why the placement agencies are not upfront in admitting that the “well is dry”.