On the occasion of International Women’s Day on 8th March 2018, Skill India Mission congratulated all the women who underwent skill-based training to improve their lives. The abilities of these women to transform themselves through financial independence and security demonstrated their determination to realize their aspirations and dreams. It may be noted that Skill India Mission was launched in July 2015 by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and since then it has transformed lives of over 35.56 Lakh women through skill training; empowering them for better and secured livelihood.
Appreciating the participation of women, Dr. KP Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, “women form a significant proportion of workforce in the country. We believe skill training will be vital in addressing some of the most pressing challenges related to inclusion, gender equality and access. Cognizant of our responsibility, we are working towards empowering women, enabling them to emerge as drivers of the social and economic well-being of their families. We would urge women to come forward to acquire new skills, build entrepreneurship abilities and chalk out their own destiny.”
MSDE has adopted a multi-pronged approach through various schemes and initiatives to reinforce equality of women via skill development. This is achieved by
- improving employability and income-earning opportunities
- enhancing financial security
- promoting sustainable development and livelihood
MSDE’s flagship scheme – Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY), in its two phases, has achieved an incredible milestone of 17.72 Lakh women trainings, including 8.63 lakh trainings under PMKVY-1 (July 2015 – June 2016) and 9.09 Lakh under PMKVY-2 (July 2016 till date). With emphasis on women empowerment and improving employment opportunities, the scheme being implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), encompasses skill development via short-term training programs, special projects and recognition of prior learning, covering over 250 courses. The scheme has witnessed proportionate enrolment of women (1:1). The employment numbers are equally commendable with over 50% of the trained women securing placement as well. Some of the women-centric projects have been – carpet weavers in Rajasthan (Jaipur Rugs Foundation), dairy & poultry farmers (pan-India), bakery and apparel training for Bru-Tribe (North East), retail program for Amazon Meri Saheli (North East), etc.
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the executive arm of MSDE, has also been executing fee-based trainings via its wide network of more than 350 training partners. The organisation has been instrumental in training more than 16 lakh women in the short/long-term courses (3 months to one year), accounting for more than 40% women amongst total trained candidates. Some of the prominent choices of skill training for women have been IT and ITES Banking and Financial Services, Building, Construction and Real Estate Services, Education and Skill Development Services, Textiles and Clothing, Electronics and IT Hardware, Beauty and Wellness, Healthcare and Retail.
The Directorate General of Training (DGT), an apex body under MSDE that works towards development and coordination of vocational training and employment services at the national level, has trained over 1.84 Lakh women candidates during these years (2015 till date).
To make the skill development process aspirational, accommodating and flexible to encourage women to enrol, there has been enhanced focus on soft skills, entrepreneurship, financial and digital literacy under Skill India’s schemes and programs. Women have been encouraged to opt for courses of their interest. Some of these job roles, which conventionally had been male-dominated, have garnered immense interest among women include CNC Mechanics, Automation Specialist, Warehouse Packer, Mine Welder, Tool and Die-Maker, Unarmed Security Guard, Vermicomposting Producer among others.
The target of productively employing workers is gigantic in India, and higher efforts are needed to include women to achieve these goals at a high rate and to create a deep impact.