Odisha : Odisha government is taking steps to upgrade the skill of the work force with emphasis on the weaker sections to enhance employability, MSME Minister Prafulla Samal said on Friday.
“The government has launched entrepreneurship training programs with emphasis on the weaker sections as a large chunk of people in the state are dependent on MSME for employment after agriculture,” Mr Samal said.
The minister inaugurated a two-day National Seminar on “Envisioning Skilling, Entrepreneurship and Employability in Hospitality Sector” organized by the SOA (Deemed to be University) in collaboration with Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council (THSC) here.
He said, technical education in Odisha had spread fast during the last 20 years while the government had taken steps to ensure that primary, secondary and high school education was available everywhere.
The minister said about 45,000 students graduated from engineering colleges in the state every year but many of these qualified engineers remained employed and in many cases the employers often rejected these graduates even though they were skilled.
The Self-Help Groups (SHG) in Odisha, he said, had gone a long way in empowering rural women with over five lakh SHGs functioning all over the state with a membership of more than 50 lakh. These SHG units had been linked to the banks for financing, he said.
Former chairman of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) Prof S S Mantha said while the gross enrollment ratio at primary education level in India was 97 to 98, it drastically fell to 22 at the higher secondary level as the students either could not afford the cost of education or did not like the courses.
“It meant that 78 out of every 100 person, who dropped out from school, needed to have skills to get employment,” he said.
Pointing out that 65 per cent of the country’s population would be below 29 years by 2020, he said that unless they were sufficiently skilled to get employed, they would be a liability for the country.
“Agriculture and mining, which are primary sectors for job creation, had the potential to meet 15 per cent of the requirement,” Prof Mantha said.
The tertiary or service sector had the potential to meet 64 per cent of the job requirement, he said adding that the scenario was leading to a serious problem of under employment as even technically skilled personnel were preferring to join the service sector.
Joint Secretary in the Union ministry of environment, Forest and Climate Change N K Sundaray said a vibrant sector like hospitality and tourism had great variety and potential for employment generation but required skilled manpower.
“Promotion of skilled manpower is a great need as it provided enormous advantage to the nation, but if we fail then it will be a big liability,” he said.
Director Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management Sandeep Kulshreshtha said the government was keen to upgrade the skill of people engaged in various jobs including priests in religious shrines so that they would know how to deal with people.
“At present 650 priests are being trained across 12 religious shrines,” he said. Similar training, Dr Kulshreshtha said, were being imparted to boatmen into set up a Centre for Skill Development to address this issue.
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