How Centum Learning empowers women with right skills for employment and entrepreneurship


We are delighted to present a Skill Talk by Kamini Prasad, COO, Centum Learning, to discuss some of the practical and social challenges that working women face in skilling sector and beyond. Ms Prasad highlights the need to extend support to women from professional and personal fronts in order to grow as an entrepreneur. Let’s read on to know more about job prospects, limitations, women centric vocational courses and more that aid enthusiastic women entrepreneurs to make their mark.

Top industry sectors for women skilling and employment

In recent years, women have played a vital role in the growth of Indian economy. Over the years, Indian women have made a significant mark and achieved success across various sectors, both within the country and overseas as well. The top industry sectors considered for women Skilling and Employment include Internet & E-Commerce, Banking, Pharmaceutical and Healthcare, IT-BPM sector, Beauty & Wellness, Retail, Education & Training, etc.

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The women of today have proved themselves in almost every area. They are engineers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, designers, pilots, police officers, politicians, teachers and what not. However, they still have to face obstacles along their path.

Right efforts would lead to growth of women entrepreneurs and their greater contribution in the entrepreneurial activities. Women entrepreneurs need to be given assurance, freedom, and mobility to come out of their shell and move on towards the road to success.

Women entrepreneurship will flourish through organizing multiple awareness programs conducted on a huge scale, by providing right vocational training to the women community and appropriate training programs to develop professional competencies in managerial, leadership, financial, profit planning, marketing and other skills.

Challenges and Limitations for working women in urban and rural sectors

Women in different age groups face different kinds of problems and challenges. Sometimes it is based on being categorized as married, single, divorcee, single parent or separated and facing different issues at the workplace. Some of these problems are common, like mental and physical stress, lack of work-life balance, unfair treatment or discrimination in the workplace etc. Rural women face problems of discrimination and have multiple disadvantages as compared to their urban counterparts. Some of the challenges faced by women from semi-urban and rural areas are mental or sexual harassment, lack of family support and financial standing, illiteracy or hygiene issues etc.

Women specific vocational courses by Centum Learning

A number of women oriented employment programs are running successfully by Centum offering a wide range of Vocational courses in which beneficiaries can enrol for. The courses involve both classroom training and on-the-job experience, matching the local industry needs aligned with the training curriculum. These programmes have documented success in promoting women’s employment which can be further attributed to the fact that they are exceptionally well-targeted, demand-driven, and linked with the demands of the private sector. By offering a wide range of skill trainings to women, providing additional support to their families, and delivering the programs through a robust mechanism has positively resulted in increasing women’s employment and earnings.

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Centum is launching twenty seven centers across Punjab to skill rural women with vocational skills.  These centres will offer skilling in nine job roles namely Beautician, In-store Promoter , Call Center Executive, Service Steward, Sewing Machine Operator, Courier Delivery Executive, Front Office Associate – Meet & Greet, Handset Repair Engineer and Electrician. Centum has also launched Nanhi Chhan Rural Skill Development Centres in Punjab. Centum Learning felicitated successful women candidates skilled under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) scheme during a certification ceremony at YWCA, Delhi.

Supporting women entrepreneurs and employees – professionals and personal fronts

Most of the women workforce gets placed soon after the completion of training as increase in the number of employment appears to be much higher for female workers as compared to their male counterparts. The training and the placement thereafter has brought about upliftment in the social status of families of all the beneficiaries.

We extend support to women in becoming successful entrepreneurs by encouraging them to believe in themselves and giving them a concrete support on all fronts including learning, business planning and networking with each other etc., thus enabling their entrepreneurship to be more visible within the society. The training methods include working in small interactive groups of not more than 30 participants, combined with personalized support and confidential advice from time to time. The training material includes modules on entrepreneurship development as well.

Centum Learning 02Women have to walk that extra mile to achieve their goals along with equal rights and position in the society. Old traditions are so deep rooted in the Indian society and the sociological set up has been a male dominated one. The Indian culture saw women only as followers of the decisions made by male members of their family. These are some of the factors which contribute to the drop out cases among women.

Right efforts from all the directions are needed in the development of women entrepreneurs and their greater participation in these activities. We can generate awareness among women for employment and self-development activities by offering training and counseling service on a large scale to remove psychological barriers like lack of self-confidence and fear of failure etc. Adequate training based on managerial skills to be provided to women community, skill development to be done in women’s polytechnics and industrial training institutes. Activities in which women are trained should focus on their marketability and profitability, along with training on professional competence and leadership skills and better educational facilities.

Industry demand forecasting and RPL in India

Industry demand forecasting includes

  • Specifying the Objective
  • Determining the Time Perspective
  • Making a Choice of Method for Demand Forecasting
  • Collection of Data and Data Adjustment
  • Estimation and Interpretation of Results.

The industry pays well to the skilled employees, however, the wages always depend on Credentials, Experience and Skill, Industry or Employer, Job Tasks, Geographic Locations, Success and Performance etc. Often, the longer you do a job, the more productive you become. As a result, experienced workers usually tend to upskill their knowledge and get to earn more than beginners.

centum_learning_03‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ or ‘RPL’ is the process of recognizing previous learning towards gaining a qualification. In India 25 people out of 100 are receiving skill training through informal way i.e. learn by doing concept. It helps more people to achieve higher levels of qualification and expertise by beginning with the acknowledgment of existing skills and knowledge. It augments to international economic competitiveness by building an often invisible and unacknowledged workforce skilled.

Providing skills to young girls needs holistic approach to meet their special needs—modules which incorporate market-linked curriculum with health and life skills training, flexibility in timings, financial literacy, and sensitive support mechanisms for first-generation organised sector workers.

Skilling girl students at school level

Skill building, as a process towards getting a job, is something seriously lacking in our education system. For young girls and those from financially weaker sections of society, manual labour is still the most easily available work. There is a great need to skill this significantly large workforce so that they can become a major part of the economy through desk-oriented jobs. Young girls need holistic skilling solutions and last-mile connectivity to job markets.

India has set for itself a policy target of helping 500 million youths to get skilled by 2022 for jobs. Assuming that only 40 percent of them are girls, their number still would be 200 million. Neglecting them could mean a demographic disaster. Indian women play an important role in initiating socio-economic progress of the country. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Women should be empowered so that they can lead India to glory.

Our women entrepreneurs, social welfare workers, scientists, politicians and economists are paving the way for a brighter future. Women in urban and rural areas should be given access to good opportunities so that they can bring about positive social change and contribute to the growth of the country. In nations across the world, women play a crucial role in initiating the advancement and growth of any society. India is no exception and we salute our women power.

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