The National Conference of State Skill Ministers organized as a part of IndiaSkills Competition 2018 voted for convergence of skill development initiatives between different ministries. The main objective of the conference was to create awareness about the importance of apprenticeships and address issues around skilling and jobs such as counselling and upgradation of ITIs. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) on 5th October 2018.
Shri Anantkumar Hegde, Minister of State, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship presided over the session attended by Dr. KP Krishnan, Secretary, MSDE; Shri Rajesh Agrawal, Joint Secretary, MSDE; Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, DG, Directorate General of Training (DGT) and Shri Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC).
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the ongoing IndiaSkills 2018 National Competition where more than 400 candidates are competing in 50 skills representing 27 States/UTs in the country. The meeting saw participation from representatives across all 29 states. Some of the key dignitaries present at the conference include Shri Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Labour, Earthquake Rehabilitation, Ex-Servicemen Welfare, Maharashtra; Shri Thokchom Radheshyam Singh, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development, Manipur; Shri Chetan Chauhan, Hon’ble Minister, Sports and Youth Welfare, Uttar Pradesh; Shri Harak Singh Rawat, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development, Uttarakhand; and Mr. Khurshid Ghanai, Hon’ble Advisor to J&K Governor.
The meeting witnessed a lively discussion between the Central and the State Governments on the critical need for concerted efforts to enhance skill development in India in the context of the country’s transition to a knowledge-based economy through the creation of a professional skilled workforce. Governmental efforts, especially in the recent past, in the arena of skill development through various schemes and programme, management structures and processes, enhanced infrastructure, and local challenges encountered within these initiatives were discussed at the session. The States also requested further upgradation of ITIs and said they would continue laying emphasis on promoting apprenticeship and creating opportunities for employment with the support of local industries.
Speaking at the conference, Shri Anant Kumar Hegde, Minister of State, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said Skill India had come a long way from the time when it was faced with multiple challenges, including collating reliable data of skills needed. “Skill India is a long term mission for our nation and every important step requires time,” he said. “We are now focused on newer skills, including future-ready jobs that require advanced technological training. To make skilling more effective and impactful, we have adopted a demand-driven approach, where we first look at the areas that need skilled manpower and then train people accordingly. We are working with State ministries and the industry in order to provide the skilled workforce the industry needs.”
The Hon’ble Minister added that MSDE had widened the net to include sectors that were both traditionally a strength as well as new-age ones. “We are training people in modern and new methods of farming, a sector that is the backbone of the country and contributes 55% to the GDP. At the same time, we are also directing our efforts to skilling the youth in future-ready jobs like Blockchain technology, cyber security and AI. Our emphasis on training the rural youth in employable skills is the reason we came up with the Skill on Wheels initiative that has met with great success in all the states we have introduced it, ” he added.
The ongoing Skill India Competition is one of the most successful platforms that will provide an ecosystem to aspire and motivate the youth. In order to select the best talent to represent at IndiaSkills 2018, MSDE and NSDC have completed more than 500 District and State level and 40+ Regional Competitions in 46 skills, including 3D Game Art, Aircraft Maintenance, Auto Body Repair, Bakery, Beauty Therapy, Bricklaying to name a few. Apart from skill competitions, the event will also host several engaging initiatives such as Career Counselling, Skill Exhibition, Try a Skill among others for the youth.