A Workforce Development Initiative (WDI) making Non-Governmental Organisations, corporates and like minded individuals come together and form enriching partnerships, have been launched on 18 April 2007 in New Delhi, India, to work towards linking learning and livelihoods for disadvantaged youth. The launch, made by CAP Foundation was to announce the formation of an alliance, the first of its kind, that will actively work towards developing the workforce of 21st century India. The CAP Foundation is an independent registered organisation demonstrating public partnership initiatives between civil societies, corporate and government agencies in linking learning and livelihoods for communities of children, youth and women `at risk’. The Foundation reaches out to the adolescent at risk by providing a holistic education and livelihood promotion module, which combines formal education with vocational training skill development training, life skill modules, job placement and career exploration opportunities, through an experiential mode, aimed at developing confident individuals capable of self directed growth.
The Key outcomes of this launch were the signing of the CAP UK partnership document and showcasing the various partnerships of the alliance.
A number of panels discussed issues related to the context of livelihoods in growing urbanisation, pre-employment training programmes – an emerging strategy for corporate- NGO partnerships and on employability skill training and targeted interventions for youth at risk. The panels brought out some very valid points on how it was important, that corporate and NGO India link hands together for developing the workforce, and how important work force development was to the future of the nation. They discussed on how they should work together to keep this alliance alive and working. Some of the speakers discussed how this partnership was reaching across regional and religious barriers and uniting everyone towards one cause.
The initiative was launched after a presentation of the programme review by Nalini Gangadharan of the CAP Foundation, among the participation of representatives from corporate, development agencies, and government sector, some luminaries being Anjli Paul, daughter of industrialist Swaraj Paul, Diana Hayden, Former Miss World, Dr C R Naidu, IG Police, Andhra Pradesh, Prof P V Indiresan, Former Director, IIT Chennai, Dana Fischer, Director-Office of Social Development, USAID India, Shakti Sharma, Secretary, Tata Steel Rural Development Society, Surina Rajan, Project Director, International Labour Organisation (ILO), representatives from SARD and American Indian Foundation, representatives from prestigious B- Schools Amity and XIM- Bhubaneswar, Jamia Milia Islamia, and IIT Delhi, corporate representatives of Pepsico, Genpact, Moserbaer, etc.
CAP has been providing a consistent effort in learning and workforce development through some of its flagship projects like Child centered community based development programme, the Teen Channel, the Ek Mouka employability training programme, etc. The successful implementation by the Foundation has shown that more sustainable and holistic development of children is possible through integrated multi modular interventions related to learning habits and livelihoods through Child Centred Community Development modules.
The Teen Channel is a community learning centre initiative, that attempts to connect learning and livelihoods in a model that addresses critical issues affecting the quality of life and future of adolescents who opt out of school as well as potential drop-outs among school going adolescents between the ages 13- 17 years in an enabling environment of educational, social, life skills, recreational and workplace readiness.
The primary goal of ‘Ek Mouka’ is to provide access to market oriented livelihood opportunities to the disadvantaged youth and women through locally sustainable livelihood hubs. The Employability Exchanges that are established through this project are dynamic sustainable livelihood hubs that provide for exchange of resources, opportunities and competencies between business and communities that contribute to long-term sustainable local economic development.
ICT is an integral component of the ‘EK Mouka’ employability skill training programme. The Employability Centers use computers, projectors and other audio visual equipments to impart training. Not only that, CAP is extensively working on digitising its content, quite a few modules have been digitised and are being tested in the classrooms. These will enable the facilitators to deliver the modules better, and also help the students in self training, and later in refreshing their modules as and when needed. CAP is also working on setting up studios and transmission systems, whereby, the students will be able to either see pre-recorded sessions and maybe
even live sessions over a period of time. CAP Foundation realises the importance of technology and equips all its trainees with basic computer operations skills.
The Objective of the recent launch of the workforce development initiative is to enable self directed growth of disadvantaged youth by providing easy access to market oriented employability skills and through setting up of institutionalised mechanisms for Public Private Partnerships. The road ahead consists of a four sequenced strategic objectives for the purpose-
1. Enabling the disadvantaged youth, especially young women to access increased and equitable participation in the expanding work force.
2. Customised, contemporary and quality training for market oriented work force development by setting up an institutional mechanism to build competency levels of trainers and capacity building of partners to sustain the training programmes and the employability centres.
3. Institutionalised programme interface with industry, relevant government and other institutions for placement, accreditations, certification and resource mobilisation.
4. Mainstreaming of the programme model and its best practices (processes, procedures, partnerships and pedagogy) to positively influence policy and regulatory barriers and promotion through research, advocacy and networking.
With the launch of the initiative, the Foundation foresees an accomplishment of its vision, to be an end-to-end community based solutions provider in linking quality learning and sustainable livelihoods for vulnerable communities of children and young people.