Assam Skill Development Mission (ASDM) has embarked on various programs and initiatives to skill the youth, make them employable and promote entrepreneurship. In addition to implementing national schemes like PMKVY, at the state level ASDM is setting up the Skills City and leveraging latest technologies to create desired impact. In this Skill Story, Mr. Anand Prakash Tiwari, IPS, Mission Director, ASDM shares many details about the current and upcoming projects and how it would transform Assam through livelihood enablement and career advancement.
Q: What is the current focus on skilling in Assam and what are some of the schemes being implemented by ASDM?
A: The Assam government has given high priority to skill development and promotion of entrepreneurship in the state. We are working on many schemes and have created a roadmap to integrate the goals of Skill India mission with our State’s initiative ‘Advantage Assam’. ASDM is formed with the vision to provide quality skill training to the youth and providing them with gainful employment. To achieve this vision ASDM has taken multiple initiatives with the common goal of enhancing the skills of the youth and increasing their employability. ASDM have been working with many training partners covering all the districts of Assam and also encouraging industries to collaborate with the government for industry-integrated training and placement of youth.
We are implementing Government of India schemes like PMKVY 2.0 under the Centrally Sponsored State Managed component as per the targets allocated to Assam. Apart from this, we have launched the state funded Placement Linked Skill Development Training Program (PLSDTP). Covering all schemes (State and Central), we are targeting to skill 6 lakh people by the year 2020. Accordingly we are working with all the stakeholders within the skill ecosystem to achieve the set goals.
We have created the institutional capacity under the PLSDTP and have empaneled more than 150 Training Providers with more than 350 Training Centers to impart training across 33 sectors. Under PMKVY 2.0 we have empaneled more than 15 Training Partners with approximately 30 Training Centers. The process of empaneling more Training Partners under PMKVY 2.0 is still in continuation.
Apart from this, we are implementing National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) through the Directorate of Employment and Craftsman Training (DECT), for ITI students. Traditionally NAPS is implemented through DECT, however to further the reach of the scheme, ASDM will also be implementing the same as per guidelines issued by Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). ASDM will be empaneling Vocational Training Providers to impart training under NAPS giving special focus on short term skilling programs. The primary objective behind NAPS is to provide hands on training to the youth and make them job ready as per the industry standards.
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is another scheme to further the stride of skill development in the state. RPL largely focuses on certifying the skills of the youth who are already in employment (self or wage) but lack any formal certification. Through RPL, we will mainly focus on industries such as Tea, Healthcare, Agriculture, Construction, Automotive etc. This initiative will recognize the skills of the employed youth and provide them with a formal certificate which will create better livelihood opportunity for them in future.
When it comes to infrastructure, we have taken steps to utilize unused government buildings to impart skilling programs. For instance, we have identified buildings which were constructed by different Departments from time to time but not being utilized at the moment. We have identified 11 such buildings as of now in which we are in the final step towards on boarding Industry cum Training Partners to run Advanced Skill Training courses under the Recruit-Train-Deploy (RTD) model. These institutes will be called Advanced Skill Training Institutes (ASTIs).
Discussions are also going on with the Aerospace and Aviation Sector Skill Council to establish a skill center focusing on the aviation sector in Assam. With the new airport coming up at Guwahati, upscaling of the other airports in the state, increased operations of airliners, there will be a huge demand for skilled manpower.
With the launch of OLA and UBER app in Assam and the growing need of the tourism industry there is a high demand for trained drivers in the state. Leveraging this opportunity, ASDM is planning to open one Driver Training Centre in each district to provide the youth with necessary training whereafter, they will be equipped for both employment as well as entrepreneurship opportunities.
We have started our journey at ASDM on a positive note, these initiatives are just 4 years old, we are learning, I request all the CEOs of SSCs and all stakeholders, skill universities to connect with us using mails, messages and I invite suggestions from them.
Q: Tell us about key collaborations to accelerate skilling programs in Assam
A: ASDM has collaborated with Institute of Technical Education – Education Services (ITEES), Singapore, as the global knowledge partner to establish the North East Skill Centre (NESC). The objective behind establishing NESC is to provide quality skill training at par with international standards to the youth of the state. The Technical Center will start its operations shortly and provide training across 4 trades- Food & Beverage Services, Hospitality – Housekeeping, Beauty & Wellness and Retail. A need analysis was conducted by ITEES to identify the above courses with maximum potential and demand.
The course content has been developed by ITEES and same is being aligned with National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF). The courses have been endorsed by respective industries and has been designed to meet the industry specific requirements. ASDM has recruited trainers and have been conducting Training of Trainer (TOT) through ITEES. The infrastructure is in place; the local center will start functioning from October 2018. This is a major milestone in the development trajectory of Assam in the skilling space. The center will have the capacity to train 400 candidates, and it’s a part of mega project called Skill City.
Q: Could you share more details about the upcoming Skill City in Assam?
A: This is a greenfield project with huge scope to transform the skills landscape in Assam. Land has been identified at Mangaldai and the Government is in the process of getting funds from funding agencies such as Asian Development Bank. The Skill City will focus on offering skill development courses in the following sectors: Agriculture & Allied, Automotive Engineering, Beauty & Wellness, Construction, Electronics, Healthcare, Hospitality & Tourism, Petrochemicals, Power, Retail, Textile & Apparel, Transport & Logistic, Graphic Design & Technology and International Language & Culture.
The establishment of Skill City envisions to cater to the entire North Eastern region and aims to evolve as a one stop TVET solution for international quality training, assessment, certification, apprenticeship, incubation, entrepreneurship or placement. The Skill City will also have Library / Knowledge Info Centre, Placement Cell at each Skill Center, Technology Business Incubation Centre and Entrepreneurship Development Cell etc. To provide training at par with the international standards, ASDM is looking forward to collaborate with organizations / institutions of international repute as Knowledge Partners.
Q: What are some of the technology enabled initiatives from ASDM?
A: We’ve created the mobile application called DAKSHA. It stands for Digital Access to Knowledge and Skilled Human Resource of Assam and it is presently being tested. DAKSHA is envisioned as a multi-faceted app which will bring all the stakeholders to a single platform. It will work like Ola, Uber or a service calling app and is designed to offer services at your doorstep like Electricians, Beauticians and so on. Apart from that, aspiring students can register for training programs using the mobile app. This app will also facilitate in real time monitoring of training centers online. The app has many more features intended to connect the industry with the skilled human resources. DAKSHA will be formally launched on 15th August 2018.
ASDM is also developing an integrated IT-MIS system to monitor and track the skilling initiatives of the state. The IT-MIS system will help to map the number of candidates trained and placed by different departments in the state and provide a consolidated picture of the State’s accomplishments.
Q: How is Assam leveraging to tourism potential for skilling and entrepreneurship development?
A: Tourism and Hospitality is a prime focus sector and it is very important for the development of Assam. As stated above, NESC in collaboration with ITEES Singapore will focus of imparting quality training in job roles of Food & Beverage Services and Hospitality. Further, to leverage the current potential, ASDM has conducted industry meets and sectoral seminars to gauge the demand of the industry and build the capacity to meet the same.
With the development in tourism sector and influx tourists, the state has witnessed establishment of several hotels and resorts. ASDM has taken special initiatives to meet the demand of the Tourism and Hospitality sector and provide them with skilled manpower. Currently we have multiple Training Partners imparting skill training under Tourism & Hospitality Sector to meet the increased manpower demand.
To boost entrepreneurship in the sector, ASDM intends to train the locals residing in scenic locations of the state to run homestays. ASDM will also cover human resources engaged in various tourism and hospitality related assets through the RPL.
Q: What is your perception about the need for integrating skills with education?
Keeping international models adopted by countries such as Germany as the benchmark, ASDM is aiming to create a system for facilitating seamless movement between regular education, skill training and finally the work place. National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF) has been put in place by the MSDE with the objective to bring parity in both regular as well as vocational training. Currently, under Rashtriya Madhyamik Siksha Abhiyan vocational training is being carried out in certain sectors in schools. As an initial step towards achieving the same, ASDM is shortly launching GST Assistant training program for the Commerce graduates so that they are ready to meet the current industry requirements in the BFSI sector. And the same shall be done for all other sectors too.
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