Media and Entertainment: RPL for formalizing the informal workforce

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India’s unorganized workforce is mostly unskilled and semi-skilled. So they need access to training programs and support from their employers to skill and upskill themselves. This is where Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can help them get assessed and certified on their current competencies as per NSQF levels. To train their workforce, the Media and Entertainment Skill Council (MESC) launched Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). RPL is formalizing the informal workforce. To know more about the program and its execution, we interacted with Ms Pratibha Pulijala, Advisor, Southern Region, MESC who shared the importance of the program and her experience of executing it. 

Q: Could you share your experience of leading the RPL program in the Southern Region?

A: I have been connected with RPL since the launch of the Telugu Film and Cine Workers Federation of Telangana. Providing training and skilling the unorganized was a dream come true for me. The unorganized sector was completely neglected. They needed training to enhance their skills. So the Media and Entertainment Skill Council (MESC) launched RPL and I got an opportunity to lead the program in the Southern Region. It was a great platform for me to use my rich experience in creative learning and working and it gave me immense pleasure to do so. I try to put my best foot forward and deliver the best result possible. 

The program is for dancers, actors, scriptwriters, sound editors, digital marketing managers, community journalists, graphic designers. Those trained will get a government-recognized certificate, Rs. 500 as reward money and Rs. 2 lakh accident insurance.

RPL formalizing informal workforceQ: Could you tell us in brief about how awareness is being created among people for RPL?

A: The lack of awareness about the program and its importance was a huge challenge. And the major question was about the need for this recognition program. People had doubts in their minds and they were not ready to enroll in it. So we started conducting awareness creation boot camps and workshops for RPL. Where we let them ask their queries and we tried our best to answer all of them. We still organize these boot camps where I conduct the orientation sessions. I am more than happy to share my knowledge on RPL and clear the doubts of the participants. I always try to explain the process of RPL in detail with many examples. I also try to convey the need for industry alignment of skills and knowledge and why competencies have to meet global standards. 

With consistent awareness creation, we were able to showcase the bigger picture of the skill ecosystem and the vision and mission of skill development. Going forward Skill India Portal will be a platform to be leveraged by the media professionals and entrepreneurs to scale up their skills and ventures.

Q: What were the challenges that you faced and how you overcome them?

A: Now there was one more challenge. And that was the apprehension of data sharing. We had to maintain our previous credibility and integrity in execution of the pilot project. Fortunately we got help from everywhere and the regular media coverage has helped us to maintain our brand image. It also helped us in building the confidence among eminent people in the industry. The second biggest challenge was to make working professionals attend the workshops. However, our continuous awareness creation has helped us to great extents. The training is given by certified trainers and it is NOT aligned. Which is an added advantage of the program. 

Related article: Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) conducted by Media and Entertainment Skills Council (MESC) in Hyderabad  https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/recognition-of-prior-learning-rpl-conducted-by-media-and-entertainment-skills-council-mesc-in-hyderabad/

We started with workshops for actors, scriptwriter, sound engineers, assistant cameraman, and director of photography, hair stylist, makeup artist, digital marketing and many more. We have successfully enrolled and registered around 45000 in 40 various skills in the Media and Entertainment sector. 

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