A FICCI-KPMG white paper stresses on the need to create large scale awareness among youths to achieve skill development objective of the government
In order to achieve the government’s skill development goal, policy makers would need to recognise the structural strengthening of ecosystem by introducing enabling policies such as – Minimum Wages Act, Labor Laws, and Apprenticeship Act apart from providing required support to key stakeholders like NSDC, SSCs, State Skill Missions, Training Providers and others, according to a FICCI-KPMG white paper launched in New Delhi, on September 4, 2014.
In the global skilling eco-system, India occupies a unique and special place today with its young population and government’s major thrust to create capacity. While some significant developments have happened in last 5 years, much needs to be done in order to create a sustainable ecosystem along with focus on quality and employer participation today.
According to the report, the growth in the domestic industrial output has accentuated the crucial need for skilling India’s working age population. The total projected increase in labour force during the Twelfth Plan period for was estimated to be 477.9 million in 2011 and is estimated to increase to 502.4 million by the end of 2017. At an annual addition of 9.25 million per year approximately 37 million jobs are expected to be created from 2012-13 through 2016-17. Manufacturing should roughly contribute towards half of these additional jobs. Significant proportion of the jobs in these sectors would require a sector and skill specific trained workforce.
“Although a certain shift is currently being witnessed these facts and figures are clearly indicative of the fact that India would need to revamp its Skill development strategies with a focus on industry and an attempt to balance labour force demand and supply,” said Narayanan Ramaswamy, Partner and Head of Education Practice, KPMG in India.
While a lot of initiatives have been taken, skill development in the country has been plagued by multiplicity of agencies and duplication of efforts. To address this problem Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June 2014 announced the creation of a first-ever separate Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to promote entrepreneurship and skill development.
The white paper looks objectively at each of the related policies, enabling and implementing bodies and assesses their current performance and suggests structural and operational level efficacy interventions.
The white paper has given some valuable recommendations to promote skill development. There is a need to spread awareness about the need for skilling and the onus lies on its various stakeholders. A concerted and combined effort from the governments at the state levels and the centre is required to spread awareness about the skill development. The industrial sector needs to be educated about the benefits of a skilled personnel vis-a-vis an unskilled person as training leads to increased productivity among employees.
The schools can also play an important role in disseminating awareness about career paths to students should they choose to take up vocational courses. Awareness among students towards the concepts of vocational education should begin at an early stage.
Another major recommendation is that an integrated effort from employers, training providers and government bodies like Panchayats is required to train the people at the migration source, ie, cluster level or a specific geography could help mobilise people to take up training. This would help to tackle the challenges related to migrating unskilled workforce.
The white paper also suggests sectors like handlooms and handicrafts needs an ecosystem to sustain themselves. For example, artisans need to be provided with funds, market linkages an intelligence, a platform to market their products, education about raw materials and the products used and also how to market them.
With a projected 500 million trained work force, the nation is looking for a large number of trained workforce but creating a fine balance between quality and quantity would be vital to create a credible and sustainable reform. A country teeming with burgeoning youth, a concrete skill development policy in terms of Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship taking shape and increasing industry participation holds a promise of a skilled India which will not only cater to demands within but also globally.