Time and again we come across many skill development programmes that started off with good planning and implementation but could not expand beyond a region. Scalability of a skill development programme becomes an issue when any training organization wants to expand their reach and impact more but is constrained by a lack of resources like funds, key resource persons, technology, etc.
Many organizations start skill development programmes, maintain quality standards, achieve desirable results, but later find it difficult to scale up. How do we help them reach more and deepen their impact on enabling livelihoods and enhancing employability?
Let us look at the top 5 ways to make skill development programmes scalable.
Top 5 ways to make skill development programmes scalable
- Explore strategic collaborations: Industry collaborations play a crucial role in scaling skill development programmes. For conducting effective Training of Trainer (ToT) programme, standardizing and structuring the programmes and to scale with quality, strategic collaborations with industry, private sector, government, training institutions, etc. are critical.
- Seek replicability and relevance: One of the crucial steps to scale skill development programmes across regions and different locations is to make the programme replicable and relevant. Programmes must be designed to be agile and forward-looking. If the skill development programmes are rigid, it makes it difficult for the training centres to replicate the programme. This means skill development programmes have to be flexible enough to be customized to meet the unique regional, cultural, and industry requirements.
- Integrate technology: One can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of skilling programmes by integrating them with technology. For example, a blended learning delivery format will result in making it geography agnostic and therefore increasing the number of people trained. Technology can be used right from counseling, mobilization, to enrolment. This can be replicated in other regions as well and enables scale. Technology also helps in standardizing the programmes and initiatives.
- Ensure inclusion: A skill development programme is only scalable when women are also included in the workforce. Courses have to be developed keeping different needs of the women in mind. New models have to be thought of for the female workforce. We must also look beyond jobs, look at entrepreneurship opportunities, digital start-ups, etc.
- Offer well-structured programmes: To make skill development programmes scalable, we must design structured programmes and standardize them. Standardizing and structuring the skill development programmes that include personal growth, industry exposure, and on-the-job training are crucial in achieving scale.
If you wish to know how Tata STRIVE has achieved scale and sustainability in their skill development programmes, check this out – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/scalability-in-skill-development/
Along with being standardized, replicable, and relevant, skill development programmes must also be transferable and localized as necessary. If scaling involves collaborating with existing institutional frameworks like the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), then it must be done seamlessly without causing major disruptions in their training process.
Most importantly, to make skill development programmes scalable, it needs a long-term commitment from the stakeholders in the domain and only then the desired outcomes can be achieved.