We are working towards the establishment of one Model Skill Center in each district of the country, which would be operational in over 500 districts by March 2017. These will be high-quality centers which will help make skill development aspirational and accessible, says Jaikant Singh, Head, Partnership and State Alliance, National Skill Development Corporation, in an exclusive interview with Gautam Debroy of Elets News Network (ENN)
Tell us about your initiatives to develop skill sector in India.
Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) have been set up as an autonomous industry-led bodies for steering skill development and training. They are responsible for certification, training the trainers and accreditation.
They create National Occupation Standards for their respective sectors to standardise trades and courses. The SSCs also forecast any changes in the labour market and enable standardisation of affiliation and accreditation processes.
Some SSCs are also working on promoting academies of excellence and helping in executing train-the-trainer programmes.
Till date, the NSDC Board has approved 40 SSC which cater to the requirements of high growth sectors ranging across agriculture, construction, healthcare, BFSI, IT/ITeS and retail. Several SSCs are working closely with organisations such as the European Union, International Labour Organization, the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) among others, with the objective of introducing international best practices in India.
The SSCs are also responsible for engaging with the Central and State-level implementing agencies in developing the curriculum package, engagement and capacity building of vocational teachers and assessment and certification of the skills imparted.
Do you have any time-frame in sight to turn the country into skilled India?
The launch of the Skill India Campaign is an important milestone towards achieving the objective of skilling with Speed, Scale and Standards across the country. By 2022 we aim to train over 40 crore (400 million) people and National Skill Development Corporation’s (NSDC) target is to achieve skilling of 15 crore (150 million) by fostering private sector initiatives in the skill development space. For the financial year 2015-16 more than 1.04 Crore youth have been trained under the Skill India Mission. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (PMKVY), also witnessed around 20 lakh enrolment of which 19, 73,813 candidates are being trained in their choice of skills. We are also working towards the establishment of one Model Skill Center in each district of the country, which would be operational in more than 500 districts by March 2017. These will be high-quality centers which will help make skill development aspirational and accessible.
Do you have any state specific strategy?
Most State Governments have set up State Skill Development Missions (SSDM) as nodal bodies to anchor the skill development agenda in the State. To support their various initiatives, NSDC has partnered with different state governments and signed MoUs to improve Employability Skills of the youth. We are working in conjunction with the state government to expand the reach of government flagship scheme – Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (PMKVY) to regions where there has been a lesser focus on skill development till now. We will also be working closely with the ITIs network in the country to ensure short term skill courses are being introduced and run across engineering colleges and polytechnics that are in distress currently and will add to capacity building for skill development for the youth in India. Also to accelerate the pace of skill development we have special state specific skill development program for J&K and Northeast states.
What response are you getting from states? Which states are doing well in skill sector?
NSDC operates through partnerships with multiple stakeholders including State Governments and we are getting favorable responses from them. As stated above we have partnership with different state governments for skill mission to improve Employability Skills of the youth.
What challenges you are facing while implementing your projects?
India is one of the youngest nations and we have the potential to create skilled human resources who can be employed, based on industry standards, to not only companies in India but also overseas.
By 2022, India will have the maximum number of working age population in the world. The FICCI-KPMG Global Skills Report has noted that if properly skilled, they can contribute to economic growth. In India alone we have 109 million incremental human resources requirement across 24 key sectors by 2022. However, only 4.69 percent of the Indian population has undergone formal skills training as compared to 68 percent in UK, 75 percent in Germany, 52 percent in USA, 80 percent in Japan and 96 percent in South Korea. This presents a huge challenge to growth. Another challenge is vocational education and implementation of national skill qualification framework in collaboration with school education and higher education.
Are you looking for foreign investment in skill sector?
We already have been funding from World Bank of Rs 480 crore and is expected to provide skill training to over 50 lakh (5 million) people. Ministry of skill development is engaged actively with several countries for skill training, training of the trainers and setting up of model centers of excellence and creation of international mobility through mapping job roles and development of transnational standards. Several SSCs are working closely with organisations such as the European Union, International Labour Organization, the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) etc with the objective of introducing international best practices in India. We have a larger mission and welcome support from bilateral and multilateral agencies.
How do you find Northeast as far as skill development is concerned?
Skill India initiative has a special focus to develop infrastructure in the North- Eastern states. In the union budget northeast has got prime focus in the overall development plan for the country. There has been a special allocation of 150 crores for North east states for skill development under MSDE’s flagship scheme of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (PMKVY), which is a monetary reward scheme to encourage the youth to opt for skill development. Also, Ministry of Skill Development has planned to set up skill development centres in all blocks of Assam and the other north-eastern states to increase employability of the younger generation. Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi Ji had announced for the setting up of a Centre of Excellence in the region for the skill training to facilitate overseas employment.
By 2022 we aim to train over 40 crore (400 million) people and National Skill Development Corporation’s (NSDC) target is to achieve skilling of 15 crore (150 million) by fostering private sector initiatives in the skill development space. For the financial year 2015-16 more than 1.04 crore youth have been trained under the Skill India Mission.
Also, government of these states have started their respective skill development missions to meet the aspirations of skilling the youth and employability. We have identified several training partners, signed MoU with private companies and are further exploring the public private partnership (PPP) route for establishing ITIs and skill centers in the region. NSDC also conducted several Kaushal Mela to mobilise youth in north eastern state.