Introducing a formal definition of skill development, integrating soft skills in each training programme and tracking of all candidates enrolled in such schemes through their Aadhaar number are some of the key recommendations of a high-powered panel set up to rationalise the multitude of skilling schemes run by the government.
The committee headed by the chairman, National Skill Development Agency, in its report has defined skill development in a government scheme as “any outcomes-oriented activity that enables a participant to acquire skills, duly assessed and certified by an independent third party agency, and which enables him to get wage or self-employment… or moving from informal to formal sector jobs”.
The committee, which includes top officials from nearly two dozen ministries, was set up last December to rationalise skill development and training schemes.
Currently, over 22 Union ministries including labour, human resources development, textiles and commerce are involved in various vocational training programmes that often run at cross purposes. The report, which has now been put up for public comments, has also suggested minimum training hours for each category of candidate. So for instance, while fresh entrants to the job market must undergo at least 200 hours of training, those being re-skilled should have minimum course duration of 80 hours.
Outcomes of each skilling programme should also be clearly tracked through IT tools and through the actual placement of the skilled youth, it has further suggested. Further, it has suggested uniform cost for each skilling course and has also advocated payment based on the outcomes of the scheme, and that government funding should be restricted to courses that are aligned to the National Skills Qualification Framework.