Foreword: Volume IV, issue III, 2018

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Dear Readers,

After the Swachh Bharat initiative, Skill India programme has become an important mission for the current government. The government outlay for the aspirational PMKK is raised to Rs.3,400 Crore in 2018-19. This will lend continuation to the earlier apprenticeship training programme mentioned in the 2016 Budget of 50 lakh youngsters by 2019-20.

At least 10 million young people enter the country’s workforce every year, but job creation in India has not kept pace with this influx, making rising unemployment a major challenge for the government.

Growth of an economy is reflected in the growing number of well-paid jobs in a country. Consequently, any policy that stimulates the economy to grow has an impact on job creation and the overall employability of the country’s workforce. India finds itself short of the required skills when it comes to retaining and moving forward in jobs. To make the most of the demographic dividend, it is critical to improve the employability of the youth. For this, the newly set up Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship had taken up the task of coordinating all skill development efforts across the country. This includes the removal of the disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building a vocational and technical training framework, building new skills and innovative thinking not only for existing jobs, but also jobs that are to be created.

However, recent reports on the much-touted skilling scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), indicates that policy is still far from achieving its intended result. A data revealed that of the 30.67 lakh candidates who had been trained or were undergoing training across the country in June 2017, only 2.9 lakh had received placement offers.

What can be done? Though skill training in the country has improved in recent years, the absence of job linkages is only aggravating the problem of unemployment. According to the Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan, India has to think big; a lot of technologies are coming,conventional jobs are squeezed, new verticals are emerging, and these need to be introduced to employable youths so that they are able to link their training meaningfully.

Skill development starts with identifying future job prospects and segmenting it according to the need, feasibility and potential of training candidates. The PPP model of operation of Sector Skill councils presents a great chance of bringing best practices in the industry on the learning table through relevant training modules. Private players can use technology to automate, improve and scale training and certification approach of skill-based training. Creating better linkages between the stakeholders in the process,and establishing key deliverables and a clear chain of accountability would help make such training programmes more effective. Working towards increasing their accessibility should also be looked at. A recently proposed move of making suchtraining more district-centric is a step towards that direction.

Best Wishes,

Kamaljit Swaroop

Vice chairperson