New Delhi : Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, on Saturday said the success of an emerging economy like India is related to the availability of a skilled workforce.
“As a nation today, we boast of having our young population as our innate strength. Appropriate skilling and training of this workforce is very important to be able to make this a true strength for India. Certification is important for establishing appropriate labour market linkages and ascertaining that the workforce is industry ready,” he said.
He said there are skilled people in India but if formally verified for instance four million tea-pluckers and 45 lakh goldsmiths in the country are without certification. Their certification would raise the percentage of skilled manpower in the country. A massive campaign for Recognition of Prior Learning is required by providing career pathways.
He said, “Till date there are 40 lakh painters in the country but not even a single formal training institution in last 68 years exists for formal training of painters.”
Training and learning happens outside the boundaries of schools and colleges. Mr. Rudy reiterated the importance of apprenticeship, as it is the only key to provide “real-time” training to youngsters at real time workplace scenario.
“Industry should act as labs for training and development,” said Rudy.
In the era of globalisation, language plays the most important role in connecting people from different cultures and nations. English being the local global language and being used by majority of people becomes vital for employability. For a country like India which is aiming to take maximum advantage of demographic dividend, language should not be a barrier for people who intend to settle down anywhere across the globe.
“A student who doesn’t have a formal education for 10 years and speaks good English has a 40 percent more employability factor than a BAs and MAs in this country,” said Rudy.
There is vast skill gap in India with several surveys suggesting that half of all graduates are not employable in any sector based on industry standards. This has sparked growing concern about the mismatch between educational institutions and needs of the job market. “Out of 127 trades exists of ITI, 98% are taken by electricians and fitters,” said Mr. Rudy. The ITI system lacked connect with mainstream education which the Ministry of Skill Development has filled.
He said that India needs to create an ecosystem where skilling should be seen as integrated component of education system. The fractured education system needed a strong emphasis on outcomes than the acquiring process. The National Skill Qualification Framework will address the connecting point among levels of education with competency of outcome. There should be professors for plumbing and carpentry instead of just academic subjects. Aggregators are the key to fill the gap of supply and demand and match the job seekers to employers.
“In order to ‘Make in India’ we need Makers in India,” said the minister.
He also said, “Let us pick those things which are in demand not just nationally but internationally. Make yourself a good driver, plumber or an electrician and it can open many avenues including to foreign shores. That is what people in Kerala have done through nursing. This has changed the whole economy of Kerala”.
“One of the challenges that the industry has been facing is to differentiate between a certified and uncertified skilled labour and to address this issue it is critical to carry out an industry wide study to assess skill premium against industry productivity,” said Mr. Rajan Bharti Mittal, Vice Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Past President, FICCI.
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