The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), signed a Letter of Understanding (LoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Society for Development Alternatives (DA), to co-create and implement apprenticeship and livelihood, employability skills, life skills and entrepreneurship development programmes for girls and women in India. Aiming to benefit more than 50,000 women, the project will be implemented in the National Capital Region of Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana.
The collaboration aims to support Disha, a partnership between the India Development Foundation and UNDP, supported by IKEA Foundation, targeting one million underprivileged women in India, with an objective of developing their skills, connecting them with income opportunities and focusing on their empowerment.
Commenting on the collaboration, Jayant Krishna, COO, NSDC, said, “NSDC is focused on providing skill development opportunities to all, including women. Our collaboration with UNDP and Development Alternatives will help us develop a holistic approach towards apprenticeship training and employability enhancement for long-term sustainable growth of women, especially those from marginalized sections of the society.”
Clement Chauvet, Chief, Skills and BD, UNDP, said, “Apprenticeship presents a win-win opportunity for all, benefitting organisations, youth and above all, the society. The collaboration seeks to achieve the common objective of empowering women, creating an impactful difference in their lives.”
Dr. Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Society for Development Alternatives, expressed, “This is a unique program, wherein the Government, industry and development organisations will be working together in the form of a coalition to boost employability of women through work-based training. The program will bring recognition and dignity to the lives of women and their families.”
The collaboration aims to promote apprenticeship of women candidates and seek partnerships with establishments for on-the-job trainings. NSDC, which is implementing the Apprenticeship Scheme across India, is offering apprenticeship in over 250 optional trades, including in the service, hospitality and retail sectors.
Development Alternatives is a not-for-profit organisation that works in the skilling eco-system through innovative public-private-partnerships with government, businesses, academia, training institutions and civil society.
Project Disha, under UNDP India, creates and tests scalable solutions that directly enable women to secure marketable skills, connect to jobs or start their own enterprises.
The LoU signing event in Delhi witnessed industry representation, mostly from the Service and Retail sectors, related Sector Skill Councils, NGOs and Training Providers which extend support to the project to ensure its success.