5 Key aspects of successful and sustainable skill development in India


In this guest article, Vijay Ketan Mitra, CEO, PositiveShift, shares his views on the skilling mission in India. He discusses five key aspects of making skill development sustainable and successful. Let’s read on to know more about how skilling can contribute to better India.

“Even if you’re on right track, you’ll get run over if you sit there !” – Will Rogers.

For many years now, India has been working towards a common goal called ‘Skilled India’. Amongst other things, the main aim of such programme has been to develop the skills of the youth within the country in order to produce a more skilled workforce and a more efficient future. Our respected Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision is to have Indian youth to serve the Global economy by 2022. To this date, we have seen fantastic results with the works of establishments such as NSDC, MSDE, Skill councils, Central & State missions and more than 250 partners and well over 3,200 training centres. With this in mind, it has enabled the training of millions of young people with many of these being placed soon after.

Skilling India Vijay MitraOver the years, we have seen changes to how the program runs and more recently, the extension of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). After being approved for an additional four years (2016-2020), the program is set to benefit yet another 10 million youth. As the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship’s (MSDE) flagship scheme, the PMKVY will continue to train young people in industry-relevant skills to secure a better livelihood and quality of life for both them and their families.

Comparisons and improvements

Comparisons – In the UK, there is a similar program with the UK Commission for Employment and Skills with over 2,000 employers now engaged in the training of employees.

In Australia, similar practices are in place with the cooperation with India becoming ever stronger. By 2020, a quarter of the global workforce is expected to be Indian and many countries are starting to notice this which is why they are investing now.

Improvements – For many, the Skill India campaign is growing in strength but more can still be done to improve. Although over ten million youth have been helped already, more needs to be done if the 400 million target will be reached in 2022.

Aspirational goals vs the Targets

Most of the schemes and projects are aimed at achieving certain targets. At the execution level, the translation of targets are brutal. This results in beneficiaries dropping out of the skill courses or drop out from employment. Rather the skilling should be done keeping individual’s aspiration in mind. There should be awareness programs, events to spread knowledge about certain job roles. Youth will eventually choose skill courses based on their aspiration.

Industry Connect – Apprenticeship

Apprenticeship has not even being scratched surface, youth should be introduced with apprenticeship at school level. This will enable knowledge and choice for right skills and right job. Corporates and companies should mandatorily run apprenticeship programmes. In addition they must increase Women apprenticeship targets.

Leverage Technology

Brick n Mortar based Skilling programs cannot achieve such higher targets. Technology has to be exploited to achieve scalability. Video based tutorials, Mobile labs and other innovative technologies should be leveraged to achieve higher skilling targets.

Focus on Non-Cognitive and Behavioural skills 

Attitude and Behaviour of youth towards employment is the biggest factor of attrition and unemployment. Every skill based programs must mandatorily focus on Non-Cognitive skills such as Customer engagement, Verbal & Body language. Other skills such as Personal finance management, Yoga & health skills too look after themselves.

Career Growth 

Furthermore, many believe that PMKVY is not enough alone to boost India as the ‘Skills Capital of the World’ as students are not seeing an advantage within the job market in terms of career advancement or wages.

Overall, progress has certainly been made to the program over the years and the introduction of PMKVY proves the government’s faith in the system and support for young people. On the whole, companies are certainly starting to see the benefit of training at a younger age but there is still a lot of hard work to be done for the goals to be reached.

We are definitely on the right path that will lead to a Better India. We need synergistic alignment from several stakeholders such as Training Partners, Agencies, Skill councils, Government, Ministry and most importantly the Youth participation.

“Success is no Accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing.” – Pele

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