Powered by a vision to promote innovation and excellence in skill development, the first India International Skill Development Summit (IISDS 2016) is scheduled to be held in Delhi on 21st and 22nd November 2016. Organized by EIFE and Media India Group, the event has an exciting list of international speakers, delegates and exhibitors. We spoke with Count Christopher de Breza , Founding Chairman EIFE, and Ranvir Nayar Director EIFE, to know more about the plans, program and key takeaways from the event. Let’s get sneak peek at EIFE – IISDS 2016.
EIFE is focused on promoting skill development, education and R&D in India in collaboration with Europe by bringing together various stakeholders such as the government, the private sector, the academic institutions and the training organizations. We are keen on supporting the evolving skill development ecosystem in India by sharing expertise and know-how from the European domain. We are keen on modernization of skilling methodologies through curriculum upgradation, certification and training of trainers.
Skill development is a global issue!
Issues related to vocational education and skill development are not unique to India, these problems are being faced by rest of the world as well. Certain sociocultural and historical conditions have created a vast chasm between mainstream education and vocational skills. But India’s situation is quite a matter of concern since the level of skilling is much lower than other countries.
In Europe too, we are finding it difficult to make skills aspirational. However, countries like Switzerland, Germany and Austria have established dual education systems that are working successfully. In the dual system, skill development takes place at the same time as academic teaching.
About IISDS 2016
The event is conceptualised by following a pragmatic approach; we don’t indulge in discourse and theory of skill development. We want to show how it works in practice. In May 2016, we had organized the Global Skill Development Meet in Paris in collaboration with OECD at the headquarters of UNESCO. We managed to convey the significant role played by UNESCO in vocational training and skill development. And through our main partner OECD, which was represented by 3 major speakers, we were able to put forward seminal work done by them in skill development and education. We hope that the Indian government accepts to collaborate with OCED as deeply as possible since this will benefit in terms of exchanging knowledge and experience. We have also partnered with Bertelesmann Foundation for research and publication.
When we organized the first UNESCO conference in Paris, Government of Odisha wanted to attend the meet, but due to some unavoidable reasons, they couldn’t make it. Later, we organized a discovery mission and meeting with a German company to get an idea about Europe, how the vocational system works and so on.
The delegates from the state of Odisha went on the Knowledge and Enhancement Tour to study the methodology of the European countries and discuss the collaboration opportunities with the European companies.
The objective of the state is to develop a centre of excellence in domains of skill development with the help of European Union. EIFE acted as a platform for the state and provided with the collaboration opportunities. Furthermore, the state wants the EIFE to work as a consultant for appropriate knowledge transfer and optimize according to the sectors need of the state.
The personnels of the state that went on the tour are: Aruna Kumar Sahoo,Hon’ble Minister -Panchayati Raj & Law, Deoranjan Kumar Singh, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, Pranabjyoti Nath, IAS, Additional Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, Biranchi Narayan Das, Executive Director, ORMAS, Panchayati Raj Department . The dignitaries from EIFE, Count Christophe de Breza, Chairman, and Mr. Ranvir Nayar, Director, accompanied the delegates throughout the visit.
Europe is perhaps one of the leaders in skilling in sectors which are also the focus areas of the country and government of India. You can’t have programs like “Make in India” with skilled workforce. And when you want to promote industries such as Food Processing, Defence and Aviation, virtually, in all these areas, Europe is the world leader. They have large and highly specialized industries that are powered by skilled and trained workforce.
We have identified 10 sectors which are a priority for collaboration between Europe and India. For example, in the Solar and Renewable Energy Sector, the work done by Germany is path-breaking! We have researched about organizations that provide training in this sector, that are by far the best in the world and we’ve been holding discussions for the last two years about possible ways to collaborate with India. And now we have a very good panel of about 45 to 50 training partners from Europe who are keen to get engaged with India.
IISDS 2016 – A business meet for skill development
With a fairly good understanding of the terrain in India, now we have about 50 to 60 Indian partners from the government and private sector who want to acquire skills and training in particular sectors. So, we have the demand from India, and we have the right kind of environment, and this conference puts them together.
And the idea of this conference is executed on the lines of a business meet. It’s not theoretical seminar. It’s a concrete business meet where people will come with specific ideas, with what they want from Europe and European delegates know who they’ll be meeting in Delhi, so we are creating an environment for business transactions.
About the knowledge partners
OCED is perhaps the world leader in understanding the skills, and how the programs have worked or not worked in many countries. So, it’s very important for OECD to share its knowledge and know-how with India. OCED is quite keen to work with India, India will also be very happy to receive inputs from OECD and ILO. We’ve also had a very good round of discussion with World Bank, they finance some major skill development schemes in India. We hope to collaborate further with them for financing different skilling projects in India
FDI in skill development
Our goal is ready to transact business, keeping in view the scope for (Foreign Direct Investment) FDI inflow in skill development. The European delegates are visiting India with concrete ideas; they plan to take these ideas to different cities in India. To give an example, an company is keen on setting up training for defence and aviation. They are the world leaders in this field having trained people for manufacturing fighter jets, civil aircrafts, aircraft engines. They have already figured out the map of India, they are trying to understand where they can find the right kind of talent, human resources, which can be provided this kind of training. They can’t set it up in a remote place which is far away from the industry. They have requested us to help them meet people from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
There’s another company that provides skill development in renewable energy. We will be taking them to meet with corporates and also state governments which are quite active in skilling. So, you will have a lot of agreements (MoUs) and we hope that these agreements will transact into transfer of technology and know-how, training of trainers in India by Europe in intensive and extensive ways and upgradation of curriculum and improvement in assessments of various skilling programs.
We are hopeful that the discussions will go on a fast track since these are private companies with clear business objectives. Also, following the emphasis on “Make in India” and “Skill India” missions, we are looking forward to facilitate the entry of European organizations into India markets through joint ventures and collaborative projects. This includes education and training companies and institutions which will also have exchange program for internships.