One of the key success factors for implementing DDU-GKY is the migration support extended to students when they are placed in jobs, far away from their families. This skilling and placement scheme of the Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) is focused on enhancing the skills of rural youth for wage employment. Training partners (or Project Implementing Agencies) work closely with State Governments, Technical Support Agencies like the National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRD & PR) for smooth execution of the projects. This articles is based on views and experiences of IL&FS Skills and 2Coms Consulting on various aspects of implementing DDU-GKY projects.
Holistic model of training from IL&FS Skills spells success for DDU-GKY candidates
IL&FS Skills has been implementing DDU-GKY projects for the last one year in 20 Institute of Skills across 3 states (Jharkhand, Tripura & Punjab) with more than 2 lakh sq ft of training space, annual capacity to train more than 8000 youth, 97 fully equipped training labs running 10 QP NOS aligned courses. DDU-GKY scheme aims to train rural BPL youth and link them with employment in the organized sector. The key challenges faced during the implementation include identification of right candidates, making them work ready post training and providing them employment opportunities.
Since most of the trainees are school dropouts and are not used to structured training and work environment it is imperative to counsel them about their future job requirements. In many cases the employment opportunities are limited in the State where training is happening and youth are required to migrate to other States for employment, handling the post-training migration process professionally is of key importance.
“We pay attention to the journey of every candidate from mobilisation till placement in a job. We believe in a learner-centric approach towards skills training and with that approach have skilled more than 1.6 million people till date (6.5 lacs under placement linked skill development programmes) with support from Central & State Governments as well as Corporates Our skills interventions, rest on some key principles that ensure scalability and replicability, making it a global best practice. To counter the challenges for training rural BPL youth under DDU GKY scheme, we have included the following practices in our skills value chain
- Industry linkages and workplace exposure
- Mobilisation through community engagement & Gram Panchayat – Saturation Model
- Assessing trainee fitment by mapping job requirement with candidate aspirations through counselling and entry gate assessments
- Show, tell and do training methodology using multimedia content
- Holistic development to make trainees work ready
- Migration Support Centre and post placement mentorship support to trainees
- Advocacy at grassroots level Ketul Acharya – COO and Group Head, ILFS Skills
Critical role of Migration Support Centers
The main challenge is to handle the post-training migration process professionally. For example, when trainees from Jharkhand get employed in the apparel industry in Tamil Nadu or a Quick Service Restaurant in Delhi, IL&FS Migration Support Centers helps them in many ways. In fact, during their travel, a group of 50 girls is accompanied by a trainer or a community engagement person. On reaching the place of employment, the local Migration Support Executive (MES) receives them at the railway station, helps them feel comfortable and refreshed at the residential facility. Since the MES is also the relationship manager with the employer, he/she facilitates the process of enrolment, complete the documentation, and visits the place of employment regularly till the initial 30 days are completed. The first month is critical for the trainees; they undergo lot of cultural shifts, make adjustments and sometimes the employers go to the extent of getting a cook to prepare their local food.
Holistic development to make trainees work ready
To ensure 360 degree development of trainees, domain training is supplemented with modules in functional English, digital literacy and life skills. During the training, in addition to domain skills, trainees are also sensitized on possible career progression either by opting for higher studies or gaining work experience and learning on the job. For example in Apparel sector, some of the youth have grown from being Industrial Sewing Machine Operators to Supervisors, handling a team of 20-25 employees by consistently performing well over the years. In addition, trainees are encouraged to run a library within the institutes on their own and undergo health checkups. Birthdays and festivals are celebrated to encourage trainee engagement and picnics are organized for better bonding and continuous motivation.
Advice to training partners who wish to implement DDU-GKY programs
“The SOPs under the DDU GKY scheme are clearly defined and provide guidance for step by step implementation. Both the trainees and employers need to be kept at the core of the training methodology. Employers need to be engaged from the initial phase to ensure healthy placement ratios and retention of trainees. A thorough financial planning and monitoring system is also a prerequisite” Ketul Acharya – COO and Group Head, ILFS Skills
2COMS Consulting has aced placements for DDU-GKY candidates with their experience in recruitments
2COMS Consulting has been implementing DDU-GKY projects many states. With regard to government support, while they found a progressive environment in Odisha and great scope to experiment and execute the projects in Kerala, in Andhra Pradesh, the payment system differed from other states, following a milestone based method with batch-wise payment. However, not all states have the same approach and supporting mechanism to collaborate with the training partner. Where states lack the initiative, the training partner could become a non-performer due to lack of support.
Placements through batch-wise partnerships “We have never faced a problem, in fact jobs have outnumbered the students. We have adopted batch-wise partnerships with the employers by giving them the big picture of an annual mandate for placement. Having been a recruitment and staffing company, we have an experience of 20 years in this domain. Right linkages matter a lot and so do innovative strategies. In a recent Job Mela, to meet our employer’s expectations we went out of the way and invited partner on board to make the client happy and ensure that we meet the numbers.”
Training delivery and post-placement support
For some job roles the Qualification Packs need to be tweaked to accommodate unique training requirements. For instance, for delivery boys who would be placed in Swiggy, Grofer, Flipkart or Amazon, 2COMS delivers training as per client requirements to meet their specific needs. They also have a Migration Support Center for counselling the students, accompanying them to the place of job, ensuring that they get the food of their choice and other support to make them feel at home. However, since migration is inevitable, the whole ecosystem retaining the trainees on jobs and avoiding dropouts is still evolving.
Advice to training partners who wish to implement DDU-GKY programs
Since projects like DDU-GKY cannot be solely driven by profit motive, the training partners should focus on social impact and plan their finances carefully. With 6.25% as Performance Guarantee for a fresh project, it implies that even before you get the allocation, if the if the project value is 10 crores, you are already putting in a value of 65 lakhs approximately. Many states do not have a clear idea about implementing DDU-GKY. The SOPs are stringent and may get interpreted in multiple ways. With the same training partner there would be a variance between projects implemented in different states. I would advise the TPs to choose the state well after thorough research. In fact, there should be a ranking of the states that creates a competitive environment for all the stakeholders