Industry Specific Training is the Need of the Hour : Shri Harish Rawat, The Ministry of Labour and Employment

The Ministry of Labour and Employment, GoI, has the mandate to protect and safeguard the interests of workers through enactment and enforcement of labour laws and programmes relating to welfare of the workers.

Shri Harish Rawat shares with digital Learning about the recent scopes and opportunities of skill development and technical education in India.

50,000 skill development centres are being opened and we have identified 450 skills so far to cope up with the industry-based demand. Our courses run from 19 hours to 2 year/ 3 year Diploma. We have a huge momentum built up because of PM’s initiative.

 What is the Role of Ministry of Labour and Employment in relation to issue of Skill Development and employment opportunities?

India is a developing economy and the major challenge before us, today, is how to fill the gap between the demand of the industries in various sectors and supply of trained labour. Interestingly, there is a mismatch between the demand and supply and there is a gap between what the industry requires and the available resources. Therefore, the key issue is to provide the right kind of skills that the industry requires for the country to develop. At  the same time the level of skills which we are being  developed, should essentially be in-line with what the industry desires. For fulfilling this purpose, the government has launched the skill development initiative. The Prime Minsiter of India has fixed a target, that is, by 2022  we have to train 5 crore people. Our assessment has revealed that in the developed and the developing countries together, 4.5 crores of manpower is required as resource to match up with the industrial demands. Not only can we succeed in providing the technical requirements of our own domestic requirements but also the requirements arising in the other countries.

Can you highlight some of the influential factors which are part of the Skill Development Initiative?

Let me give you an example. Our technical manpower which is working in  US helps us to have an influence over that country. Let me share a few numbers with you. There are 17 other ministries apart from Minsitry of Labour and Employment, with a target of 5 crore, which are involved in this work. We also have participation of various industries and organisations such as FICCI involved in this initiative. Additionally,  IITs which that are being opened, the curriculum being prepared for the ITIs and courses being undertaken at ITIs are being decided by us. This is how we are controlling and encouraging the actions for development of the initiative. In minority dominated districts and areas minority development

ministry is working so that the weaker section can also reap the benefits from the initiative funds. For the purpose of the same, 50,000 skill development centres are being opened and we have identified 450 skills so far to cope up with the industry-based demand. Our courses run from 19 hours to 2 year/ 3 year Diploma. We have a huge momentum built up because of PM’s initiative. Our ministry has decided to open 1500 new ITI in backward areas, naxal areas, far flung areas, hilly areas  and also in minority intensive districts. We have also started the initiative of opening 5000 skill development centres and we have identified 450 skills for them.

Is there any special focus on women empowerment under this initiative?

We are trying to make provision for women ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes). 450 modules and courses for gainful employment skills, covering 41 sectors have been developed and approved by National Council for Vocational Training. 22 industries and employer organisations have been empaneled as assessing bodies for conducting assessment. For this certification is required and for this purpose we require some independent body, which in this case is constitutes of 22 industries and organisations. The total number of persons who have been trained and adjusted in the industry, since inception of the initiative, is 2,53,803. Also, we have registered 4,293 vocational training providers.

Our whole objective of skill development initiative is to provide vocational training to school drop-outs, employing untrained workers and improving their employability by optimally utilising the infrastructure available in government and private institutions and industry. There is a facility for existing skills of people under training to be tested and certified, under the scheme to build capacity in the area of competency development, standardisation of courses, standardisation of curricula/ learning material and assessment standards in the country.

Can you elaborate on courses being offered under the skill development initiative?

Demand driven short term training courses are also the main feature of the skill development programme. These courses are based on modular employable skills which are decided upon in consultation with the industry. The aim is to provide the gainful employment. We have already upgraded the existing 100 ITIs through domestic funding, that is, the internal resources, since 2007 when the initiative was announced. Our ministry has been identified as a centre of excellence and it spent a total of INR 160 crores for the above. 400 ITIs are being upgraded through The World Bank assistance of around INR 1,581 crores. We are upgrading 1,396 government ITIs through Public Private Partnership, that will cost INR 3550 crores. Under the skill development initiative the total outlay for short term courses is around 550 crores. And our target is to train 1 million people in 5 years and this is ongoing now. After 5 years, 1 million are to be added every year. We have been told by the  the PM that our target is of opening of 1500 new ITIs which will cost INR 36 crores. 5000 skill development centres which we have proposed will cost us INR 1000 crores, that are to be spent in coming 3 years. The role of vocational training providers is also very important. We are willing to help the states in training their inspectors, for building their infrastructure and also for upgrading the existing manpower. This is all about the ministries and central bodies only involved in opening of ITIs.

Are their any efforts being taken to provide the trained manpower with employment?

 From the beginning we have involved the industry and whatever courses we are running are all requirement based. Our focus is on employable skills whether we are imparting the skill to the new person or upgrading the skills of the people who are already trained. Our focus is that the worker should get some rewardable employment.

What are the major challenges in achieving the target of 1 million in 5 years and then 1 million in every consecutive year?

There is huge shortage of trainers for which we require trainer’s training programme. We have suggested to the states that where they have ITI, they should also conduct trainer training programmes. And with whatever facilities we have, we are ready to train the master trainers who can further impart training to their sub-trainers. Through National Council for Vocational Training we are working on developing the courses. 450 course modules have already been developed and these modules are based on gainful employment skills, which are to cover 41 sectors.

Further, with the limited resources that we have, we can use a particular pool of resources in making video of that particular training programme and show it to the people in areas where they are not available. We have developed web based software for the SDI scheme, that is, design development and management of web based softwares, with testing and certifications from foreign agencies.

450 course modules have already been developed and these modules are based on gainful employment skills, which are to cover 41 sectors.

Sir, you mentioned about the skills that have been identified. Can you specify some major skills that are being imparted that is the  top priority schemes that are required in the market.

These are matters of details and from the old skill to the new skills required or the future technology these all are encoded in that. We are even developing courses for the service sector such as hotel industry and willing to impart training for developing even the minutest of skill required in the industry. The PM’s direction is very clear in meeting this future challenge if we are going to be an economic superpower. For that we need skilled manpower and for that purpose because we are the youngest country now, that is more than 75% population are below 25 years of age. There is more of older population in other developed countries. There is a huge gap in the age of the population in these countries whereas in Africa and other Asian countries they do not have the expertise and resources to be our competitor. So we can convert our young force into skilled manpower and our target is of 5 crores. Hence, the situation in the world is helping us. America, Europe, China and Russia, the population of these countries are ageing. About 63% of the school students are dropouts at different stages before reaching class 10th. Only 2.5 million vocational training seats are available in the country whereas 12.8 million people enter the labour market every year. This signifies that a large number of school dropouts do not have access to skill development for improving their employability. Thus  our target is the school drop-outs. Our target is those who are somewhere working in skilled areas without having some skill training. For them the name is given Modular Employable Skill.

What are your views on schemes such as sarva shiksha abhiyan and whether they can aid in skill development programmes?

‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ has a different direction has a different focus, that is, to have a ‘sihikshit Bharat’ (educated India). Our focus, however, is to provide gainful employable skills even to those who have never attended schools. There are other ministries to take care of them. We have different schemes for this such as swarnjayanti swarozgar yojna, shahri rozgar yojana, swarnjayanti grameen swarozgar yojana, pradhan mantri swarozgar yojana and many other schemes. For women we have mahila gafsta force to take care of them. We have to develop skill for them and prepare a modular of the skills. For this we have a target of opening 50,000 skill development centres out of which 5,000 are being opened by our ministry. We have identified the courses but apart from that we will open 1,500 new ITI s and whatever ITI we have that is 1,800 we are upgrading them to have world class skills. World class skill means the skill which the country and outside of the country is required. These Industrial Training Institutes are only in government sector. There are large number in the private sector. For private sector we have The National Council for Vocational Training. It  has its own standard for deciding the criteria for giving recognition. We have even approved their procedure of assessment of their capacities, their testing and also certification. For certification, also we are tying up with the foreign certification agency. We are collaborating with some of the world class certifying agencies of the world. We are even tapping the expertise from countries such as Germany, UK, Korea. This is itself a big challenge! In this there are challenges of money, manpower, operation and stakeholders. At this time the condition worldwide is conducive for us. Earlier as a cheap labour on a large scale we were entering the world market and then with the coming of information technology. Now we could create softwares at a cheaper rate but things are changing for us even in the developed countries. The technology is growing at such a fast pace that in those countries also the earlier requirement of ten workers is gradually being replaced by one worker. So now Indians are getting hold of their technology. So young India will definitely turn into a big boom. 

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