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December 15, 2017

Editorial

Future of ITIs

Both vocational training and institutions like the Industrial Training Institutes have been under the radar of state and central government for years now. Established in almost all states, the training institutes have either remained stagnant or in worst cases gone down the hill. While state and union governments have been on the same page on human resource development, particularly to enhance skill based training and make industry-ready work force, the training institutes have….Read More


Its the time to rethink the need of skilling India

by Srinath Sridharan and Aparajit Pandey

Young and aspirational, the millennial generation that makes up about 40% of India’s population has long been regarded as the saviour and driver of future economic growth. Yet, the gap between the productive labour force and the employment and entrepreneurial opportunities available to them continues to widen. The fourth Industrial Revolution has already made its mark on certain sectors. The economic turmoil that could be brought on by further large-scale disruption….Read More


Apprenticeship vs a degree: Which will earn you the most?

by Dan Satherley

A new report has cast doubt on the perceived wisdom that getting a degree is a ticket to financial success. Economists at BERL crunched the numbers, and found people who get an apprenticeship end up just as financially secure as their academic counterparts and more of their earnings come sooner. “What we observe is that under our assumptions, the net financial position of degree holders and apprentices at the end of their careers is almost exactly the same,” the Modelling costs….Read More


Future of Work and Skills for the 4th Industrial Revolution : Case of India, 8th Bosphorus Summit

by MagdyMartinezSoliman

I am very pleased to be participating to this session on the future of work and skills for the 4th Industrial Revolution, together with distinguished representatives from the Government of India. This is a timely opportunity to shed light on how to prepare the workforce of the future, and ensure that no one is left behind by doing so. Providing decent and productive work to disadvantaged groups is a significant global and national challenge everywhere. The global youth unemployment….Read More


Unemployment at 17.8 million: India needs to look at skills development through multiple lenses

by Yoshita Arora

There is a constant demand to create jobs and improve skill sets across developing nations. As per a UN report, unemployment in India is estimated to be 17.8 million in 2017. Further, there is a need to upgrade the skill sets of people significantly. There is a need for 10 crore additional skilled personnel by 2022 in the country whereas 30 crore of the existing workforce requires further skilling. Governments and the non-profit sectors across countries (including India) are designing….Read More


How the UK Apprenticeship Levy is getting implemented and how employers can leverage to overcome skill shortage?

by Ann Watson, Chief Executive, Semta Group

Our industry produces endless reports about skills shortages, and by one estimate we need two million more engineers by 2025. There are numerous campaigns to tackle the issue, focusing on one issue or another – recruiting more women, encouraging older people to take up apprenticeships and ensuring UK engineering has the right skills supply post-Brexit. A key driver of employer behaviour is government policy. With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy, those paying it are….Read More


PMKVY -Reasons for failure

by M Binoy, SkillTech

PMKVY is a failure because of the following reasons : 1. Lack of Sensitization : The Govt failed to a large extent in sensitization of the program at the grass root level,while it focused on other criteria like partners linkages and exhausting the ambitious skilling target and achieving numbers as promised by the Govt, lack of awareness amongst the actual needy beneficiaries residing in remote villages,tribal areas, interior slums never happened the way other Govt initiatives like….Read More


USTTAD Scheme: Modi’s minority scheme yet to address the minorities

by Siddhant Mohan

Soon after Narendra Modi took charge as the Prime Minister of the country, he announced several schemes for the welfare of minorities in the country. One such scheme was USTTAD, which was announced in the year 2014. Standing for the ‘Upgrading Skill and Training in Traditional Arts for Development’, the USTTAD scheme, unfortunately, is yet to reach minorities of the country. The Union ministry of minority affairs launched the scheme in 2015 from the Narendra Modi’s constituency….Read More


‘Skills Gap’ is just a Myth, real challenge is knitting together of supply and demand sides

by Andrew Weaver

The contention that America’s workers lack the skills employers demand is an article of faith among analysts, politicians, and pundits of every stripe, from conservative tax cutters to liberal advocates of job training. Technology enthusiasts and entrepreneurs are among the loudest voices declaiming this conventional wisdom. Two recent developments have heightened debate over the idea of a “skills gap”: an unemployment rate below 5 percent, and the growing fear that automation….Read More


Vocational Education and Training Industry Service Providers taught a lesson in the Federal Court

by Piper Alderman

Vocational education providers have been on the top of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s hit list. In the last two months alone, the Federal Court has ruled against three major service providers, Get Qualified Australia Pty Ltd, Acquire Learning and Careers Pty Ltd and Unique International College Pty Ltd. Thousands of consumers have suffered loss as a result of the misconduct by these major service providers. Vocational education providers have been on the top….Read More


Why Skill India must be connected with India Inc ?

by Shri Ashoke Joshi, Chairman, Srinivasan Services Trust, social arm of TVS Motor Company

The last census indicated that India is set to experience a ‘demographic dividend’ by 2020, where 65% Indians will be under the age of 35, making us the youngest country in the world. Home to a large employable populace, it is an advantage, for it can fulfil the demand for skilled workers across India and globally. However, we need to leverage this demographic dividend with caution, else it can turn into demographic….Read More


Skilling manpower rapidly an urgent need in Indian logistics sector

by Abhishek Rathi, JBS Academy

Indian logistics sector is on a growth trajectory buoyed by robust industrial demand. Traditionally comprising core service providers and issuing key contracts for trucking, shipping, Inland Container Depot and Container Freight Stations, the requirement has been witnessed for varied skill sets in this domain. This is primarily due to the emergence of multiple modes of transport of cargo using rail, road and sea links, all needing….Read More


Race against Algorithms!

by Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst, CMR

Retrenchments in IT and ITeS sector of India is a buzz word as well as a matter of grave concern these days.  There may be an effect of so called ‘Trump’ localization drive where he would be attempting preference for creating jobs in US than helping other countries create opportunities.  But, what’s more worrying at an alarming rate for a services oriented economy like India…..Read More


Skill development initiatives need more momentum to keep pace with the rapid changes in global trade development programmes

by Samir J Shah, Chief Mentor and Director, JBS Academy Pvt. Ltd

The recent upsurge in trade development policies, especially with the recent Indian ratification of Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) coupled with India’s desire to account for 3.5% of the total world’s export from the present 2%, calls for brisk implementation of skill development initiatives. Provision of adequate training to the workforce at an institutional level seems all the more…..Read More


Skills for Change

Skills are finally gaining recognition and there is a new appreciation of the importance of performing tasks in a culture that has put a premium on theoretical knowledge in the past. The growing pressure to create jobs for millions of youngsters, combined with increasing demand for talent, has put skill development at the center of economic policy making…..Read More


Growth of AI Means We Need To Retrain Workers… Now

Picture a future where a robot suggests where to go for dinner, which meetings to take or which hotel you should stay at during an important client event. That’s just an example of the impact artificial intelligence (AI) can have on the ways we work and interact with one another. When Apple first introduced Siri in 2011, it had just scratched the surface in terms of….Read More


How demonetization and digital economy contributing to boost Education and Skill Development in India

— by Rachit Jain, CEO and Founder, Youth4Work

In its efforts to create opportunities for skill development in the country, India’s government constantly studies to provide students with the technical knowledge of various vocations. The launch of Skill India Mission strives to create a skilled workforce nationwide. The skill development scenario is expected to increase through the improvement and development….Read More


Laying exclusive focus on eradicating ‘Gender Inequality’ in education not most ideal way to increase participation in schools : Study

UK : Laying exclusive focus on eradicating gender inequality in education in the world’s poorest countries might not be the most ideal way to increase participation in schools, two University of Cambridge educationalists have warned. The warning has been issued in response to the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Last year, education experts….Read More


Budget 2017 and Education : Why India needs to think global

— by Narayanan Ramaswamy, Head, Education & Skill Development, KPMG in India

The Union Budget is going to be an interesting exercise this year—with expectations that the surplus from demonetization will be used for development initiatives such as education and skill development. Regardless, they should be looked at as an investment for the growth agenda, rather than as a development element. In the past many Union Budgets, allocation….Read More


Government should look at vocational education as equivalent to normal education

— by Gayatri Vasudevan, CEO and Co-founder of LabourNet

The annual budget in 2016 focused adequately on skilling, new job creation, and research-focused higher education which would help in new job creations both in manufacturing and service sector. NDA Government has always emphasized on skill development since its formation; a provision of Rs 1,700 crore was made for setting up 1,500 multi-skill training institutes….Read More


Disruption using innovation in Assessments

Aashish Batra, Senior Consultant, Ernst & Young LLP

Vocational skill development is a high priority area in the present government’s agenda. With importance to ‘movements’ like Make-in-India and Swachh Bharat, Skill-India remains at the core of supporting such ‘movements’ with the availability of skilled manpower. To promote the Skill-India initiative, the government recently extended PMKVY, an INR 1,500 Crore scheme to skill 2.4 million people in a year, to an INR 12,000 Crore scheme to skill 10 million people in 4 years. The PMKVY 2.0 gives renewed impetus to coordinated skill development by placing quality and consistency at its heart. While there is a lot of stress on creating capacity and funding for training skilled manpower, there are far and few in between examples of promoting and aggregating the demand side of skilled manpower employment.

If we sit back and analyse, assessments is the last piece in the training cycle of the candidate, but, it is the first piece in the employment cycle. A candidate’s skills report card, just a like a high school pass-out’s report card, acts (or should act) as a stepping stone towards a job. While that’s an idealistic view, it’s far for reality in the present scenario. That said, there is opportunity in the challenge. Third party assessment and certification is a key mechanism of quality assurance in the skill ecosystem in the world, and will also be the defining feature of the skills ecosystem in India. India, according to the National Policy of Skill Development 2015, plans to train 420 million people by the end of 2022, and assessments play an eminent role to measure the aptitude, knowledge and skill of any candidate that moves through the ecosystem. While there has been a lot of effort put in to define the criteria for assessments by Sector Skill Councils, the delivery of assessments on ground through multiple assessment agencies still poses a huge challenge in terms of the quality, efficacy and diligence of assessments.

As the skills ecosystem in India evolves, it is fair to assume that greater attention will be paid to quality assurance of training and assessments. Third party assessments are not only important for providing an independent score card of a candidate aptitude, knowledge and skill for potential employers and future learning, but also important to strive to be closer to the global benchmarks on skill development.

Connecting assessments with jobs using technology – Disruption

There are multiple models that can be looked at to achieve the goal of linking the supply and the demand side of skilled manpower in India.

  1. Video Resumes – Assessments are nothing but extended interviews!

The validation of effective training, in the domain of vocational skill development, is the competency that the candidate showcases for a particular job role at the end of training. The overall training lifecycle for a candidate ends at the assessment when the candidate is tested not only on the theory of what he/she has learned, but also, and more importantly on the competency/practical knowledge of the skillset he/she possesses. While assessment is important for independent evidence of a learner’s acquired skills, it is also important for both, potential employers and progression to further learning.

This is where capturing audio and videos of each assessment becomes important. The videos can act as a bridge to effectively connect the job seeker with the employer with a click of a button.  The videos can be shrunk to compatible storage size and used by a potential employer by accessing the central portal. These assessment videos may act as a first level interview to filter out candidate and facilitate a faster and more efficient hiring tool. Further, this may also lead to candidates saving on costs around travel etc. while commuting a distance for an interview.

Example – Multiple technologies developed by assessment agencies are prevalent while none of them have cracked the operational model of:
1. Capturing an effective assessment video that can be used as a partial interview
2. Mapping the demand with supply

To add to this, dissemination of such information (read: videos) can be remunerative to the agencies itself. Maybe disruptive enough to make assessment agencies the largest staffing companies in the vocational domain. Think about it – simply posting of demographic details on a job portal never gets you a job. If it did, Monster.com, Naukri.com and the likes would be the largest staffing companies. Disruption is important and this might be the answer.

  1. Hybrid model à giving technology its arms and legs on the groundà computers are old, moving robots is the future

While it important to use technology as a medium of efficient connect between the candidate and the employer, it might not be the sole answer to the challenges of MSME and rural skills development on ground. While technology (apps and websites) may be available to list the available jobs and trained job seekers, the use of the technology may be limited. The reasons around this can be multifold:

  • Employers not confident of using the technology
  • Employers not willing to post jobs online
  • The shift from traditional contractual hiring in MSME to direct hiring
  • The inability/incompetence to use technology by both job seekers and employers
  • Dynamic ecosystem with challenges of migration etc.

 

To mitigate the above mentioned challenge(s) it is important that technology be aided by people to facilitate use of technology on the ground.Today, various mobile app companies are giving their apps hands and legs – Uber is one such example. Mobile apps are trying to organize the unorganized rural retail market by empowering Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) that order anything from clothes to computers for the rural consumer on a mobile app, thereby exploiting the inability or unwillingness to order using technology.

In the skills ecosystem, Common Service Centres, ITC eChopals and other government and private infrastructure maybe used as arms and legs of this technology. The CSCs may help to collate local demand from MSMEs and industries in a radius of 100km which feeds in the app/website and every assessment video/result of the candidate feeds in as an input for the same.

Example – Rozagarduniya à a venture of Monster and ITC eChopal

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author of the article. The matter of this article has not been edited skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.) 


What went well, not so much, and what we ought to do to Skill India

India’s painful reality is that we have 30 crore kids who shall never sit in the car they clean, or live in the house they build, or read the newspaper they deliver. It represents India’s classic chicken and the egg problem. Therefore, the challenge that lies ahead of us is not only about the opportunities for the young—the 10 lakh who are joining the workforce every month for the next 20 years—but also involves innovations around moving the 30-crore-plus adult workers to higher productivity.

Let’s reflect on the progress that has been made during the year:
(1) Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna (PMKVY) has witnessed training being provided to over 50,000 youth through 1,000 centres, 100 job roles and over 25 sectors.
(2) We also heard about the allocation of Rs 1,500 crore for skilling rural youth under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojna (DDU-GKY) and another Rs 1,350 crore allocation for the National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme (STAR Scheme).
(3) The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sent out necessary directives to the skills ministry to strengthen the ITI capacity by adding and operationalising over 7,000 ITIs.
(4) Over 55 lakh youth trained vocationally and 23 lakh placed.
(5) India’s improving performance in the World Skills Competition that was held in New Zealand and Brazil.

Notwithstanding the fact that we have made some progress over the last couple of years, we are faced with abundant challenges:
(1) Estimates suggest that we need to train 7 crore youth every year for the next 5 years to make our existing youth as well those who are getting added to the workforce every year to make them job-ready.
(2) Of the 265 lakh kids who take the class 10th exam, 160 lakh pass; of the 160 lakh who take the class 12th exam, 80 lakh pass; and of these 80 lakh, only 50 lakh go to college. There is barely any skilling corridor available for those who fail at each level.
(3) College is not what it used to be, at least given the fact that soon 100% would be the new cut-off for colleges. Now, in Korea, 60% of the drivers have a college degree; it used to be 5% in 1970. In the US, 32% of retail attendants have college degrees, which was 1% in 1970. In India, nowadays, even 15% of security guards have a college degree!
(4) Finally, India has only 2.5 lakh apprentices; Germany has 3 million (30 lakh), Japan has 10 million (1 crore) and China has 20 million (2 crore). India’s current capacity itself being 4 lakh.
(5) MOOCs, online courses and distance education are yet to attain the legitimacy they deserve, for us to find a scalable model for skilling India.
(6) Skills are yet to win the battle over knowledge when it comes to the social signalling value, and it is getting magnified with inadequate celebration of skills within the country.

In the coming year, as a country, we should focus on three high-impact priorities, among others, to address the current skill crisis.

State initiatives
Issues of skills and jobs are best addressed at the local level. Therefore each state needs to take steps to institutionalize and empower state-specific skill missions with the following clear objectives:

— Make each and every willing and able person in the state employable or employed;
— Strengthen public delivery and institutional capabilities;
— Expand public private partnerships;
— Increase geographic spread across state. We can’t take jobs to people in the short run and need to take people to jobs. But we can easily take training to people;
— Radically revamp the 3 Es (employment, employability, education);

Innovate at the intersection of employment and employability with projects at three levels: (1) connecting supply to demand; (2) repairing supply for demand; and (3) preparing supply for demand.

In addition, suggest that each state set up a State Apprenticeship Corporation (SAC) as a public-private partnership co-chaired by the chief secretary and the chairman of one of the state’s largest private employer. SACs will anchor programmes on state strengths, such as tourism in Rajasthan, information technology in Karnataka and manufacturing in Tamil Nadu; target employers with different strategies for companies headquartered and those operating in the state; make employers volunteers by simplifying procedures and recognizing performance; and create matching infrastructure.

Academic linkage for apprenticeship

While learning by doing improves one’s employability prospects, a degree in India still improves one’s social acceptance prospects. Hence, permitting legitimate academic linkage equivalent to degrees shall make apprenticeship more attractive and can transform the skill landscape. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) have to make a radical shift from their traditional view around learning to actualize this. Meanwhile, SACs could facilitate academic credit for apprentices by partnering with universities within and outside the state.

Regulatory unblocking of online learning
There is regulatory blocking of national universities, while international offerings such as Udacity, edX and Coursera operate freely in India. We need a revamp of our distance education framework that allows all Indian universities to operate online courses. Getting to India’s target of 30% gross enrollment ratio for higher education requires combining online learning with apprenticeships. While there is a considerable talk around skills of late, many of the initiatives seem to be working in silos. We have to take a combined view of aligning vocational training, apprenticeships, online learning, syncing with the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) and coordination of multiple central and state-specific ministries. We also have to encourage diversity of thought amongst policy-makers to explore innovative delivery models as well as regulatory structures. And amidst it all, pray to one god—employers—as getting our youth a decent job is the final verdict of success of all our skilling initiatives in India.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author, Rituparna Chakraborty, President, Indian Staffing Federation, and co-founder, TeamLease Services Ltd. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)


Seven imperatives for job creation in India

Job creation should be the top priority of central and State governments. They should be judged principally on four critically important ‘what to dos’ for policy emerge from an analysis of India’s jobs ecosystem. Equally important are three ‘how to dos’ to accelerate the generation of more jobs and enterprises.

They have been distilled from a systems analysis of India’s jobs ecosystem, supported by CII, in which over 150 diverse experts and stakeholders and young professionals participated over the past six months.

What to Do

Promote the growth of stronger clusters and networks of small enterprises: India has a surfeit of small and micro enterprises. Small and micro enterprises are desirable because they create more employment per unit of capital, they enable citizens to create jobs for themselves and earn incomes with less state expenditure, and their growth can be widespread in all regions and in many sectors thereby making growth more inclusive.

Small and micro enterprises can overcome limitations in accessing markets, in obtaining resources, and in developing their capabilities by organising into effective clusters (geographic and virtual), and also by connecting on technology enabled platforms.

The quality of clusters and cooperative associations of enterprises in India is much weaker than in other countries where small enterprises have provided the backbone of their faster industrial growth. Digital technology platforms and communication networks are becoming further accelerators for the empowerment of small and micro enterprises.

In addition to ‘easing conditions for doing business’, government policies must promote the formation of strong clusters and networks. In many cases, large firms can be strong catalytic nodes in the networks.

Promote the growth of a ‘life-long learning’ system: The content of work is changing dynamically in many industries with new technologies and new forms of enterprises. The numbers of jobs of any type that will be available in the future are very difficult to predict. It is also difficult to reform formal education quickly (which is a challenge for all countries).

Even mass skilling systems to produce large numbers of skilled persons risk turning out skilled yet unemployed people. (Such gaps are emerging in India).

The formal education system must be supplemented with affordable and accessible, ‘just-in-time, needs aligned’ learning modules. Such modules can be developed and offered by private enterprises. Government assistance should be directed towards enterprises that prove their capabilities to dynamically offer learning and skills that result in sustained employment, rather than payments for numbers of ‘skilled’ persons produced who may not be employed.

Develop better social security systems: Enterprises need flexibility to adjust their workforce to remain competitive in a dynamic environment. They must be given flexibility so that they can grow and create more employment in the long run. On the other hand, the government has the responsibility to ensure the social and economic welfare of citizens, and insufficiency of stable jobs is already creating social problems.

These two requirements—flexibility for enterprises and an adequate safety net for citizens—can be met with better social security systems. The design of the systems should also facilitate citizens to learn new skills so that they remain employable when jobs change.

Promote the rapid use of technology as an enabler: Digital technologies can provide more reach to small enterprises and increase their productivity, too. They can enable the formation of platforms of enterprises including large ones; they can facilitate the development and delivery of ‘just-in-time, needs aligned’ learning modules; they can enable micro enterprises to access the formal financial system; and they can also enable delivery of better social security services.

How to Dos

A ‘whole of government’ approach is necessary to create jobs: Jobs cannot be sprinkled into the economy by the government. Jobs will emerge from interactions of many drivers in the economy — the growth of enterprises, life-long learning systems and social security, as well as the quality of physical infrastructure and the ease of doing business. Silo approaches will not produce the rapid change necessary in the jobs ecosystem. They can also back-fire, e.g. turning out many skill-certified persons who cannot find jobs; or concessions for flexibility to enterprises without providing social security which will lead to social and political complications.

Therefore job creation policies must be coordinated at the top of the system, at the level of the PMO at the centre and chief ministers in the States.

Job creation must be a principal goal, if not the #1 goal for governments at all levels: Jobs are created in towns, in rural districts, in States, and in the country, by the improvement of ecosystems with many drivers. A test of the quality of governance at all levels of the system — at the centre, in States, in towns and in districts — must be the ability to generate more jobs within their jurisdictions.

Since job creation is the #1 priority for the country, job creation must be a principal metric in performance score-cards for governments at all levels. Governments at all levels should manage systems’ improvements to enable the growth of more enterprises, jobs, and livelihoods.

Apply best methods for consultative policy development and implementation: Many government ministries and departments must cooperate to improve the jobs ecosystem. Many stakeholders must also support the changes in policies required so that they can be implemented faster. Speed is now of the essence in reforming and implementing the requisite policies for faster creation of jobs in India. Contentions amongst stakeholders impede policy formulation, and confusion amongst agencies delays their implementation.

Systematic methods must be applied by governments at all levels for consultative policy formulation and implementation. Systematic methods for multi-stakeholder policy formation, such as ‘regulatory impact analysis’ and the German ‘capacity works’, will speed up the production of outcomes. They will be the turbo-chargers for India’s jobs growth engines.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author, Arun Maira, a former member of the Planning Commission. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)


Our careers education is flawed,we need to think about skills not jobs : Jan Owen

The fourth industrial revolution isn’t just near – it’s here.

The world of work is already in a massive transition to a more global, technology-driven, flexible economy in which whole career progressions are being altered, new professions are coming into existence and traditional jobs are being swallowed by automation. The conditions are less predictable and the steps needed to succeed less obvious.

For young people in particular these changes will have – and to some extent already are having – a huge impact.

Since 2015, the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has released a series of reports called The New Work Order, exploring the economic forces (automation, globalization, collaboration) shaping the future of work, changing education to employment pathways and the transferable skills and capabilities required to survive in the changing world of employment.

The crux of the issue: nearly 60% of Australia students –71% of those in vocational education and training (VET) – are currently studying or training for occupations where the vast majority of jobs will be radically altered by automation. Many of the jobs they’re studying for could vanish in 10 to 15 years’ time.

Just as these disappear however, new and different ones will be created simultaneously. Consider the advent of the iPhone in 2007, for example, that created an entirely new industry of app development virtually overnight.

Despite all these coming changes, our mindset about work and the resulting advice we provide to young people remains largely the same.

We rely on stereotypes of jobs we know have always been there, and suggest training or educational pathways that will secure a job in these occupations. Yet in this new work order where young people are predicted to have 17 jobs over 5 careers, it’s clear that this traditional, linear career advice is no longer relevant or helpful.

To help young Australians navigate this more complex and uncertain world of work, understand where future jobs will exist and ensure they are equipped with the right skill set, FYA has turned to big data.

In our latest report, The New Work Mindset, we have analysed more than 2.7m job advertisements using a clustering algorithm that looked at the skills requested for each job and how similar they are to skills requested for other jobs. Over 600 occupations were grouped based on demand for similar skill sets, with over 4,600 diverse skills requested.

Our analysis shows that there are seven new job clusters in the Australian economy where the required technical and enterprise skills are closely related and more portable than previously thought. These jobs clusters include the Generators, the Artisans, the Carers, the Informers, the Technologists, the Designers and the Coordinators.
Is the fourth industrial revolution bad news for migrants and refugees?

What we have found through this analysis is that when a young person trains or works at one job, they acquire skills and capabilities that will help them get 13 other jobs. In other words, skills are more portable than we once thought.

For example, the data reveals that the technical and enterprise skills commonly required for an environmental research scientist, part of the Informers jobs cluster, are portable into at least 13 other jobs such as fire officer, life science technician, and medical administrator where skills overlap. The common skills and capabilities between these jobs include data analysis, resource management, contract management and natural resource management.

Not all jobs switches are an overnight exercise – some will require additional formal or on-the-job training, such as the transition from a nurse to an anaesthetist. The job clusters provide the opportunity to identify skill gaps however, and find ways to fill them by taking short courses, further study, or seeking on-the-job training.

Our report also identified which of the job clusters offer greater long term security than others on average. What these findings reinforce is that the way careers education is currently provided to young people is flawed. So what kind of information do young people need to succeed in this new work order? We need to shift the way we approach our working lives – to think in terms of skills instead of jobs.

To ensure this can happen we believe our existing systems including careers education, curriculums, courses and career information need to focus on building a portfolio of applicable skills and capabilities over their lifetime.

Instead of focusing on a so-called “dream job” it may be more useful for young people to think about the “dream cluster” based on their skills and interests and where they are likely to have the most longevity. Developing a portfolio of applicable skills and capabilities based on the requirements of the job cluster will help ensure young people are able to easily move between roles.

This could include our government, educators, parents and young people coming together to look at what else we can do to provide tools and support, as well as information which will help them to deliver careers advice more effectively.

Throughout our New Work Order report series, FYA has consistently called for investment in a national enterprise skills and careers education strategy to help shape education in Australia.

By investing in the next generation to equip and inspire them for a radically different future of work, we will ensure they are able to not only survive, but thrive in this new work order – and ultimately ensure Australia’s future prosperity.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)


Skill Development, the way out to decline in craftsmanship WITH EYES WIDE OPEN

— by D. N. Bezboruah

All of a sudden, there is a great deal of talk about skill development—not only in a State like Assam where there is very little of skills left, but also at the Centre where the need for it is a good deal less desperate than it is here. There are ministries and departments entrusted with ‘skill development’ as though there was a sudden breakdown somewhere in respect of people’s abilities to use their skills. Perhaps this is not an entirely unsubstantiated fear, considering that there has been a perceptible decline in craftsmanship in the production of different items of use all over north and east India, with clear indications of improved craftsmanship in west and south India. It is quite possible that craftsmanship in certain parts of the country has declined due to a neglect of the skills required to sustain craftsmanship, while in other parts of the country craftsmen have learnt to sustain and improve their skills with more efficient tools. A typical example is what Gujarati craftsmen have been able achieve in diamond cutting and polishing to make their State a leading centre of the craft of diamond cutting and polishing in the whole world.

A part of the visible decline in craftsmanship was inevitable considering the gamut of skill-related human activities being taken over by machines. Barring the manufacture of intricate jewellery or intricate and specialized stone carvings, much of what used to be done by hand has been taken over by machines. True, the production of garments still calls for human effort in a big way, but even so the pre-set designing of garments and the extensive use of printed designs on clothes have taken away much of the work for which skills were required. As such, when government departments emphasize skill development in a big way, it becomes pertinent to ask what kind of skills they are really looking for. In the Indian system of administration, the trend of replicating or imitating what other State governments have done without serious thought of what is appropriate for different States has become a fashion. At the same time, it is amusing to think of the number of officers who have been entrusted with the development of human skills in the different States. Common sense should tell us that all officers having anything to do with skill development ought to be able to use their hands for some kind of productive work. Obviously, one cannot be obsessed with the development of cerebral skills alone when manual skills become so much more important in the manufacturing and production activities of a developing society. Over the years, we have proved ourselves to be quite proficient in talking but rather deficient in the business of manufacturing of producing anything that calls for manual skills or a combination of manual and cerebral skills. No wonder, much of our public activity pivots around meetings and seminars even though no one is really concerned about the deliberations and outcomes of such meetings and seminars. And that is why it is so important to entrust the development of skills to people who themselves can use their hands and brains for productive work or can personally assist others to acquire both manual and cerebral skills. If I were looking for suitable managers of skill development, I would first of all see how good their handwriting was. Almost everyone who has complete control over their hands and fingers manages to acquire fairly well formed and legible handwriting. Those who fail on this score, are unlikely to be able to use their hands for any worthwhile craftsmanship or for imparting skills to others.

There is every reason to believe that the present burgeoning concern about skill development has been at the behest of industrialists who are on the lookout for people who have the manual skills required for repetitive production activities. They are looking for skills that will make an employee suitable for assembling washing machines, motorcycles or cars. They are looking for people who do not mind performing the same assembly activity hundreds or thousands of times a day without faltering and without complaining of boredom resulting from such repetitive activity. The other facet of skill in such a dispensation that one needs to think about is that in none of these activities is there the craftsmanship involved that enables an individual artisan to take a raw material and shape it from the beginning to the ultimate finished product. The development of skills envisaged by manufacturers and industrialists turns all workers into cogs of a wheel. Each worker performs only one designated and repetitive function in the manufacture or production of any item. The skill of the worker in such a dispensation is assessed in terms of how fast he can fit the six nuts and bolts of a certain part of the assembly process or how swiftly he can put on the cover of a certain component. As a result, the skill of the worker is likely to be of use only in the particular industry that employs him. Since the worker is never going to be familiar with the entire process of production, his manual skill is bound to have rather limited application for one particular kind of industry. However, in a society with a very high rate of unemployment, there will be a lot of workers who will need jobs in automobile factories and other manufacturing industries that are always on the lookout for workers who have limited manual skills but are very proficient in what they do.

In a society like ours where heavy industries can be ruled out for quite some years, we ought to attach greater importance to the development of skills that make for better craftsmanship. We need the kind of skills that enables someone to handle every facet of the production that is undertaken. For many more years to come, our workers will do better to concentrate on the kind of craftsmanship that is restricted to a small number in every society. They would do better to acquire the skills needed for the making of jewellery, designer garments, special kinds of shoes, kneecaps and prosthetic accessories needed by people with disabilities. There is also a lot of room for the skills required for decorated stone carvings and decorative woodwork involving the use of lathes and routers. In other words, considering our present setting, the accent has to be on developing craftsmanship rather than developing mere repetitive mechanical skills that confine a worker to just one position in the assembly-line mode of production. This is the kind of craftsmanship that is far more lucrative than the possession of mere manual skills. The wages for a superior combination of two or three skills that go to make for craftsmanship will naturally be much more than what is paid to the skilled worker with just one kind of skill. Even in our everyday experience we find that a mason who also combines the skills of a carpenter earns much more in an hour or two than the daily-wage worker earns in a day. There is no denying that it takes much more time, aptitude and dedication to acquire the kind of craftsmanship that I am talking about. Yet, in a society that cannot really be hoping for a major thrust of industrial development in a hurry, the emphasis will have remain on the service sector for quite some time. And the acquisition of craftsmanship falls within the domain of the service sector. The problem that confronts the would-be craftsman is that acquiring craftsmanship is a lengthy process and the prejudice that Assam does not have any craftsmen worth their salt is going to work against the employability of indigenous craftsmen until they can demonstrate their worth. For that reason, the indigenous craftsmen of Assam will have to be a cut well above other craftsmen from elsewhere who are earning a good living in our State. The only way out of a challenging situation that I can think of is for a lot of young people to be carrying on with whatever employment they can get for a period of a year or so and pursuing the required composite skills for attaining the kind of craftsmanship that I have in mind in their spare time. They will also have to acquire the kind of humility that takes them to other workers like them who have the skills that they are looking for and are also willing to impart them to others. Not many craftsmen are willing to pass on their skills to others for the simple reason that an apprentice soon becomes a competitor in the profession. The kind of apprenticeship that makes for a good craftsman is an arduous and time-consuming undertaking, but worth every bit of the hardship in the long run.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)[/lgc_column]

The Startup Impact on Skill Development of India

Prior to joining healthcare service provider Care24, 33-year-old Rahul Nair earned a daily wage of Rs 800. He was trained for a week to enhance his skills as a nurse after which his daily remuneration shot up to Rs 1,200. Nair is one among the 2,500 unskilled or semi-skilled healthcare workers in Mumbai who have been trained by Care24 in the past one-and-a-half years. This helped them boost monthly earnings from Rs 20,000 to Rs 60,000.

A number of startups, through their training programmes and workshops, are adding value to the unskilled workforce, helping them enhance the quality of their work and earn higher remuneration.

“We have training programmes for medical services, soft skills, consumer behaviour, among others,” said Vipin Pathak, cofounder of Care24. “We only exist because of our training programmes.”

The SAIF partners-backed company has allotted 20% of its funds towards training and skilling programmes, and expects to train over 5,000 employees in the next two years. They are also in talks with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for a possible collaboration to create a curriculum and certification around the training.

On the other hand, services marketplace UrbanClap does their bit for the skilling industry by providing customer access to the 50,000 skilled worker across 90 services on their platform ranging from carpenters and beauticians to electricians and plumbers.

“We have partnered with the NSDC and the government that as they will train workers, we will provide them access to potential customers by onboarding them to the UrbanClap platform,” said cofounder Varun Khaitan. The company, however, takes special interest in providing inhouse training in beauty services and soft skills.

Similarly, startups like Logistics Junction, Timesaverz and Easyfix are also providing development courses and training programmes to drivers, carpenters, plumbers and others to improve the quality of work for their customers and add skilled workforce to the industry.

India witnesses a shortage of well-trained, skilled workers with only 2.3% of the workforce who have undergone formal training, according to data provided in National Skill Development Mission. This is in contrast with with countries like the USA and UK, where trained workforce constitutes 52% and 68%, respectively.

With such glaring numbers showing a disparity, experts think irrespective of startups providing in-house training sessions or outsource the job to skilling institutes, as long as it adds to the skilled workforce, we are moving in the right direction.

“This kind of skilling addresses people at the bottom of the pyramid. Around 74% of them don’t even go to college,” said Ananth Rao, chairman of the training institute Focus SkillPro. “The purpose is to train them and provide them a livelihood.”

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

Lack of skilled Man power still plagues Indian labour market

India enjoys a demographic dividend where more than 60 percent of its population is in the working age group. The youth bulge presents an opportunity to enhance growth and supply skilled manpower to the rest of the world. According to a World Bank Report, this is because its working age population will be more than dependent population for at least three decades till 2040. The National Higher Education Commission, estimated that average age of population by 2020 would be 29 years against 40 in USA, 46 in Europe and 47 in Japan. It is also estimated that in the next 20 years, labour force in the industrial world will decline by 4 per cent, while in India it will increase by 32 per cent.

However, the country is facing a paradoxical situation. On one hand, young men and women entering the labour market are looking for jobs; on the other, industries are complaining of lack of appropriately skilled manpower. This reflects the criticality of skill development to enhance employability and gear-up the economy to realise faster, inclusive growth. However, keeping in view the heterogeneity of the labour market and preponderance of the unorganised sector; designing a model which benefits key players –, employer, training providers, trainee and the government is a challenging task.

93% of the total labour force is in the unorganized sector. The major challenge is also address the needs of a vast population by providing them skills which would make them employable and enable them to secure decent work.

The National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 supersedes the policy of 2009. This primarily aims at meeting the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standards (quality) and sustainability. According to India Labour Report 2012, 12.8 million new persons join the labour market annually vis-à-vis the current capacity of skill development which is 3.1 million.

Incremental HR requirement for skill development in the period 2012 to 2022 for the whole country is 12.03 crore. Hence there is pressing need to expand infrastructure for many fold to cater to the target, more than four times present capacity. As mid-term strategy, 104.62 million fresh entrants to the labour force between 2015 to 2022 would be required to be skilled/provided vocational education. At present 21 Ministries/Departments of Government of India are engaged in skill development programme.

There are several challenges. For instance, increasing capacity of the existing system to ensure equitable access for all and at the same time maintaining quality and relevance is a big challenge. This involves strong and effective linkages between industry and trainer institutes with adequate provisions for constant knowledge upgrading of trainers. Creating effective convergence between school education and governmental efforts in the area need to be reworked. All this has to be in consonance with Labour Market Information System. Other challenges include creation of institutional mechanism for research development, quality assurance, examination, certification, affiliation and accreditation. Needless to say, efforts should be on making skill development attractive and productive to motivate youth.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

Challenges of skill development in India

India enjoys a demographic dividend where more than 60 percent of its population is in the working age group. The youth bulge presents an opportunity for India to enhance its growth and also supply skilled manpower to the rest of the world. According to the World Bank Report, this is because India’s working age population will be more than the dependent population for at least three decades till 2040. The National Higher Education Commission, in its report estimated that the average age of population in India by 2020 would be 29 years as against 40 years in the USA, 46 years in Europe and 47 years in Japan. It is also estimated that during the next 20 years, the labor force in the industrial world is expected to decline by 4%, while in India it will increase by 32%.

However, the country is facing a paradoxical situation where on the one hand young men and women entering the labor market are looking for jobs; on the other hand industries are complaining of unavailability of appropriately skilled manpower. This paradox reflects the criticality of skill development to enhance the employability of the growing young population and also to gear up the economy to realize the target of faster and inclusive growth. However, keeping in view the heterogeneity of the labor market and also preponderance of the unorganized sector; designing a model which benefits the key players of the ecosystem: employer, training providers, trainee and the government is a challenging task.

It is known that 93% of the total labour force is in the unorganised sector. Thus, the major challenge of skill development initiatives is also to address the needs of a vast population by providing them skills which would make them employable and enable them to secure decent work leading to improvement in the quality of their life.

The National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 supersedes the policy of 2009. This primarily aims at meeting the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standards (quality) and sustainability. According to India Labour Report 2012, it is estimated that 12.8 million new persons join the labour market annually vis-à-vis the current capacity of the skill development which is 3.1 million in our country.

It is estimated that incremental HR requirement for skill development in the period 2012 to 2022 for the whole country is 12.03 crore. Hence there is pressing need to expand the infrastructure for skill development many fold to cater to the target which is more than four times the present capacity.  As mid- term strategy, 104.62 million fresh entrants to the labour force between 2015 to 2022 would  be required to be skilled/provided vocational education. At present 21 Ministries/Departments of Government of India are engaged in skill development programme.

There are several challenges which have been identified in skill development of the Indian Youth. For instance increasing the capacity of the existing system to ensure equitable access for all and at the same time maintaining their quality and relevance is a big challenge. This involves strong and effective linkages between the industry and the trainer institute with adequate provisions for constant knowledge upgrading of the trainers. Creating effective convergence between school education and the governmental efforts in the area of skill development also need to be reworked. All this has to be in consonance with Labour Market Information System. Other challenges include creation of institutional mechanism for research development, quality assurance, examination, certification, affiliation and accreditation. Needless to say that efforts should be on to make the skill development attractive and productive to motivate the youth to aspire for it.

Addressing the above challenges, government has taken some concrete steps which include dovetailing and rationalization of the Central Government Schemes on Skill Development in order to achieve maximum convergence and making skill development an integral part of all Government of India schemes which has ensured that all government schemes now has the component which takes care of skill development as per the programme’s requirement.  Skill gap studies conducted by NSDC for 21 high growth sectors of the country will project the human resource requirement in those sectors by 2022.

Monitoring and evaluation is the spine of any development plan. Since National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been structured as an outcome-oriented policy, it has been decided to set up a Policy Implementation Unit (PIU) for reviewing the implementation and progress of the various initiatives and undertaking corrective measures under this policy. For bringing improvements in the scheme through the feedback, provision has also been made to facilitate constant consultation with the stakeholder.  To ensure that the desired results are achieved on this account, it is necessary that along with monitoring, a quick evaluation of the Programme is undertaken at the earliest possible. Based on evaluation findings, we would be able to take effective measures and breach all the gaps in the implementation process.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author K N Pathak, independent researcher, former Joint Advisor of Niti Aayog. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

“There is need to give emphasize on the importance of Recognition of Prior Learning”

— By Dr. A. Shaktivel, Chairman, AMHSSC

In the entire world, India stands at the bottom of the list of countries with skilled people. While in South Korea, 96% of the population is termed as ‘Skilled’, in India dismal 3% persons are called skilled.

“There is need to give emphasize on the importance of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Other countries, such as China, Singapore, European countries score much more marks than India in the skilled persons’ count. It would be wrong to presume that in India skilled manpower does not exists. Actually, a sizeable population in the country is skilled but has never been assessed and certified. Thus the skilled manpower in our country is only 3 per cent.”

The formal skilling ecosystem in India was quite weak till now. To overcome this issue, Gov of India, has decided to assessing 40 Crores existing workers in various sectors till 2022 and to issue them Govt. of India’s certification under the “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). This is being implemented by the Ministry of Skill development & Entrepreneurship under the aegis of National skill Development Corporation (NSDC).

The RPL scheme is implemented by the Sector Skill Councils by conducting it in formal, as well as informal sectors. The cost of completion of this RPL process is borne by the Govt. of India under the PMKVY scheme. “This process brings in a big smile on the faces of the workers as after getting the certification, they would be equipped with a Govt. of India’s certificate, which would save them from exploitation and would bring in dignity to them.  So, the RPL scheme doesn’t only bring smiles on the Worker’s faces, it is equally beneficial for the Entrepreneurs and as the scheme gets popular, more and more entrepreneurs are coming forward to get their units covered under the ambit of RPL scheme”.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author of the article. The matter of this article has not been edited by www.skillreporter.com . SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organization directly or indirectly.)

Can devolution help bridge the skills gap?

UK : “We don’t believe the government will be able to deliver its industrial strategy without a clear focus on skills,” said John O’Connor, group director for human capital at construction, engineering and manufacturing firm Laing O’Rourke. “If left unaddressed, the skills shortage will stifle productivity and competitiveness and perhaps hamper those aspirations that the new government has to replace some of our very aged infrastructure.”

O’Connor was opening a Prospect roundtable discussion supported by Laing O’Rourke called, “Making devolution work: how can an industrial strategy address the UK’s skills and employability gap?” Supporting his argument, he quoted figures from Infrastructure UK which suggest that by 2020 an additional 400,000 jobs will be required in the construction sector. “That’s based on known demand today,” O’Connor noted. “That demand may increase given the aspiration of our new government.”

If gaps in skills and employability represents the challenge to a fully functioning industrial strategy perhaps devolution, at least in part, is the solution. That was the thrust of the conversation that followed.

But first, a challenge of a different sort. It came from David Willetts, executive chair of the Resolution Foundation and former Minister of State for Universities and Science. Willetts questioned the extent and nature of the skills shortage facing the construction industry.

Price signals and flexibility in the labour market

“The free market economist in me is always surprised that there isn’t a clearer price signal through wages,” Willetts noted. “You’d expect a surge in pay both as a signal of a shortage and as an incentive to encourage plugging the gap.” Those signals, he said, were not conspicuous in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. And when it came to “hard-edged conversations” with the Treasury, officials would be certain to point to this apparent anomaly.

His other challenge? That the UK has a “flexible and effective” labour market when compared to most other western European countries. “We seem pretty good at matching skills to jobs,” he said. “The language of shortage and pressure points is quite difficult to reconcile with the way our labour market works.”

The problem with early specialization

Those objections aside, Willetts said he did understand why there is some concern about the supply of people in construction, engineering and manufacturing industries. He offered two potential reasons for the shortage.

The first is early specialisation, meaning that students are selecting subjects—and therefore narrowing their opportunities—at the age of 15 or 16. And given that university engineering departments will almost always want to take students with A-level physics and maths, that severely limits the number of people to choose from: just 7 per cent of students have both. “In most other countries 100 per cent of young people are potentially recruitable but in our model it’s 7 per cent,” he said. “Whether or not you’re going to be an engineer shouldn’t be a decision you take at 15.”

Paul Jackson, chief executive of EngineeringUK echoed the need for structural change in education. He said that by the time they reach the age of 18 or 19 male and female students have “quite a positive view” of engineering. “But by that stage all routes have been shut off,” he said. By way of exception, he pointed to University College London which dropped its requirement for physics and maths A-level among its engineering degree intake.

The gender divide

If educational attainment and early specialisation is reducing the potential pool of future engineers, so too is a lack of gender diversity. Just 9 per cent of UK engineering graduates are female, the lowest proportion in Europe. And once that small percentage enter the workforce, many of them experience discrimination. A study by the Institution of Mechanical Engineering (IMechE) found that 63 per cent of women in engineering had experienced some form of sexism, compared to 25 per cent in medicine and 19 per cent in finance. “Even though a lot of companies are doing a really good job, there’s still a culture which has not been addressed,” said Peter Finegold, head of education and skills at IMechE.

Sue Percy, chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, said it was for this reason that simply setting a higher target of female graduate intake would not work. “Numbers are not enough,” she said. “We can’t say we’ll increase it from nine to 25 per cent because you might recruit them but we won’t retain them.”

Andrew Crudgington, director of external affairs and strategy at the Institution of Civil Engineers, identified working culture as an inhibitor, too. “We do need to get over that,” he said. Meanwhile, James Kenny, Head of Global Affairs, Arup said his firm hires an equal number of male and female employees but added: “By three or four years in you already see the gap opening up. We spend a lot of time and effort on retention.”

Engineering suffers from a lack of age and ethnic diversity, too. “We’re here to build and engineer for society and we’re not representative of society,” said Sue Percy.

Picking up Willetts’ earlier theme around price signals, Jack Carnell from Manchester Airports Group identified another financial inhibitor. Carnell, group public affairs and CSR manager, suggested that tuition fees for engineering degrees should be priced to incentivise 16 year olds to make the right choice. “You’re asking people to do a very difficult degree that takes up a lot of time while charging them a lot of money,” he said.

Re-engineering education

Laing O’Rourke’s John O’Connor offered another potential reason for a skills shortage—namely the image of the construction, infrastructure and engineering industry. He cited a YouGov poll that found that 67 per cent of those polled would never consider a career in construction, regarding it as dirty or over strenuous. “It’s pretty damning stuff and a sad indictment of what we are trying to achieve. But today’s reality is that we don’t require people with spades and buckets. We require digitally-enabled technicians who have a knowledge of building information modelling.”

O’Connor offered a series of recommendations designed to address the skills and employability gap. These included a conversion of level 2 and level 3 Design Engineering Construct! course, turning them into mainstream GCSE and A-level courses. These courses, he said, are delivered in only 42 out of 3,400 state funded schools in the UK.

O’Connor also called on Russell Group universities—24 of the UK’s top institutions—to offer part-time vocational courses in engineering. Today, 264 of these courses exist in UK universities but none are offered by the Russell Group. “We need smart, better, more capable people coming in at entry level,” he said.

David Willetts offered another potential solution—for universities to choose students with potential if not necessarily the best grades. He pointed to the example of King’s College London, which faced a similar issue, namely an oversupply of well-educated, middle-class students with four A-levels which meant that medicine was becoming one of the least socially represented degree courses. The solution? Recruit a second tier of students with lower grades and provide an extra year of education to bring them up to scratch.

Paul Jackson of EngineeringUK agreed. “We’ve got to stop insisting that someone who arrives at university can already do the finals without any further intervention,” he argued.

Devolution: the local solution

Devolution offers another route to plugging the employability and skills gap. Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “Place has a really important role to play… in identifying where the opportunities are.” She offered the example of Reading, the Berkshire town which has a high demand for HGV lorry drivers. Industry, schools and the local authority are working together to alert students of this potential opportunity and directing them to the relevant qualifications. “It’s about helping the kids go where there are vacancies,” said Jones.

Nigel Milton, head of external affairs for Heathrow offered another practical, local example. Waiting for the go-ahead to add a third runway to the airport, Heathrow’s management is “coming up with a plan of how we are going to build it from 2020,” explained Milton. That plan involves setting up a Heathrow Skills Taskforce to work with schools, colleges, universities and the local authorities around the airport to make sure it has the skills in place. “For companies like Heathrow that is now what we have to do,” said Milton. “It’s no good just thinking let’s just get through the political process and planning process and hope that the talent is there. We are going to have to fund the interventions to make sure when our project comes online we have British talent to build it.”

For Jon Lamonte, chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester, devolution overcomes the inherent problems of dealing with Whitehall. “It is the only chance you get of merging the different pots of money from siloed government departments. What you need is industry to come in and play its part in the devolution mix and we haven’t cracked that yet.”

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author of the article. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

Still coming to grips with joblessness

“A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune’s inequality exhibits under this sun.” Thomas Carlyle, British historian.

We all know that unemployment gives birth to despondency, discontent and distress, but that’s not all; long-term unemployment makes people live their lives in a way they do not wish to. And, therefore, developing employability skills and employing youth become crucial as widespread insecurity, radicalisation, crime and violence engulf the world.

Keeping in mind the scale of joblessness, we are no longer distressed by several lakh job aspirants applying for a few hundreds of junior category posts. Such vacancies requiring primary/secondary school education, more often than not, attract job seekers including those with graduate and post-graduate degrees.

Things are no better for job opportunities in organised sectors. Another huge challenge confronting India is amelioration of the plight of those in informal or unorganised sectors.

Across the globe

The economic dilemma of young people is a global phenomenon. But, in India which is feted as an ‘emerging economy’, the already acute problems of unemployment and underemployment might worsen in the coming years. In other words, overcoming the aspirations of youth is one of the major challenges the country is faced with.

A degree may once have been a passport to suitable employment but in the topsy-turvy world of jobs these days, even an advanced degree can’t protect people from losing their jobs.

A Unesco report released recently underscores India will achieve universal primary education by 2050, universal lower secondary education in 2060 and universal upper secondary education in 2085.

While 60 million children in India receive little or no formal education; the country has over 11.1 million out-of-school students in the lower secondary level, the highest in the world.

Young people’s choices, capabilities and prospects have profound impacts not only on their own lives, but also on their societies. There are two critical components involved. One, inadequate learning facilities, and the other abysmal job creation. Addressing these issues are critical.

The ‘skills gap’ issue pertaining to the poor quality of learning in country’s education centres seems to lend credence to the fact that many of those places are ill-equipped to train those keen on a better career, for a better future for themselves and their families.

While entrepreneurs and industrialists across the country keep talking about ‘skills gap’, skill training alone would not solve the issue unless there is positive industrial growth leading to job creation.
Jobless, aimless

According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report between 1991 and 2013, the size of the ‘working age’ population increased by 300 million, of which the Indian economy could provide work for only 140 million. The report said that by 2050, at least 280 million more people are expected to enter the job market in India.

Whether it’s insurgency in the North East, Maoist militancy, unrest in Jammu and Kashmir J&K or protests for reservations in government jobs, joblessness is a central issue. And such a situation is best described by Kaushik Basu who tweeted: “The erosion of jobs is like climate change. It happens slowly and so makes no news but its impact can be devastating.”

Central government initiatives to offset the crisis are not wholly convincing. The Human Resource Development Ministry is yet to finalise the new education policy. Given the urgency of the situation, the process should have been expedited as the policy was last overhauled in 1992, almost 25 years back.

The new policy is reportedly considering providing employable skills in secondary and higher education.
What’s to be done

The Centre has launched ambitious programmes like Make in India, Digital India and Skill India to help create jobs as also further a knowledge-based economy.

The following points, however, seem important.

I. Unwavering commitment towards the programme and drawn up polices. It will help work things out. It’s primarily due to Singapore’s longest-serving Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s commitment that the country has just 2 per cent unemployment and holds the 3rd position in the global education league.

II. Developing strategy for accountability-based project implementation. Experts and faculties from IITs and IIMs and other autonomous institutions to be roped in for time-bound audit of project implementation.

III. Youth involvement — Government may consider having ‘Children’s Parliament’ like the one in Bhutan. It doesn’t have a prime minister and parties. But the members will be able to submit the proceedings of their parliament to the speaker of the national assembly, the prime minister, the opposition leaders and other senior officials.

It would allow children the opportunity to voice their ideas, thoughts and feelings; so that their concerns and opinions can be listened to and included in our social and political landscape.

IV. If ‘Skill India’ is to turn into a significant initiative, there must be an ecosystem in place connecting learning institutions, teachers and trainers, industries and policy makers. And, each constituent with definitive role is likely to contribute in building synergy to push through the movement sustainably.

V. On the innovation front, we can think of taking cue from other countries. For instance, professional training school for circus artists in Philadelphia, United States which is set to open in next year. Such an effort could help revive circus industry in India creating employment opportunities in entertainment industry at large.

VI. Apart from enhancing institutional capacity building framework, what is fundamental is strict monitoring of teacher & trainer training techniques, market driven skills training and retraining manual — all aimed at creating enabling environment with deep systemic challenges.

For a democracy, prolonged youth unrest is the greater danger. There are reasons to worry as youth unrest is too stiff a wind to sail against for very long.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of Debashish Bhattacharya, general manager at International Center, Goa. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

Sector Skills Councils take the next step in youth training vision

–By Anurag Sharma, Director, AAMC

National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) along with its Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) have embraced the need for Teaching of Trainer (ToT) programs to be delivered to Trainers within their respective sectors as they seek to deliver quality training programs mandated on official recognition of the skilled of workers in organized and unorganized sector AAMC Training India Pvt. Ltd. has delivered a ToT course in conjunction with the Indian Iron And Steel Sector Skill Council (IISSSC) as they seek to build a workforce qualified to deliver certificates to skilled workers through the Recognition of Prior Learning process and as part of the PMKVY 2.0 with its industry partners and training providers.

RPL allows for an appropriately qualified person to assess an employee’s skills and knowledge in a structured way and transfer acknowledgement of those skills into a recognized qualification without the need for further study. The PMKVY 2.0, the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, is a Skill Certification Scheme designed to deliver certifications to Indian youth through industry relevant skill training or though Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). AAMC Training has delivered multiple variants of this course – with some built to with a specific Indian context and others with built-in international recognition – however, each course allows the participant to deliver on the Government’s RPL vision.

The IISSSC and AAMC Training’s training in ToT delivered recently demonstrated the continued interest of SSCs in delivering on the Government’s certification goals, with an additional course being delivered currently with completion expected on 1st October. Trainers delivering the sessions on behalf of AAMC Training had up to 27 years of experience to share with the learners, allowing for in-depth discussion of real scenarios that present themselves during training and assessment, and how to address them. Current training program started on 26th September 2016 at SAIL (Steel Authority of India) Bhilai Steel plant (BSP), where apart from SAIL, participants from Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (Vizag Steel) and IISSSC training partner’s trainers also participated. The ToT session delivered was based on NSQF level 5, QP NSD/Q0001. Following the completion of the recent ToT course, the IISSSC has moved quickly to utilize their newly qualified participants by rolling out an extensive RPL program, allowing the certification benefits to flow to non-participants in the ToT program.

On the inaugural day Ms. Asha Rani Pathak, DGM HRD of BSP said “I am very sure that this program is going to add value to whole system and I am not fortunate enough to spend time, else I would have also joined this whole program of 6 days” Mr Anurag Sharma, Director of AAMC Training said that the success of the IISSSC course had built on the interest already shown by other Sector Skills Councils (SSC). “We’ve received inquiries from numerous SSCs looking to replicate the success of these recent sessions,” Mr Sharma said. “SSCs are coming to the obvious conclusion that the time to move on programs like ours is now if they wish to maximize the benefits.”

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

Skilling the right one is the real challenge

The Government must be credited for having brought alive the phrase, ‘skill development’, on an unprecedented scale. It seems to have become the latest bandwagon on which all wish to climb. So be it. However, like in many things in public life, the phrase appears to be akin to ‘old wine in a new bottle’.

As the knowledgeable know, this usually creates cracks in the bottle. More to the point, skill has been made synonymous with downstream livelihood, focusing on domains like drivers, plumbers, electricians, and more. There is nothing wrong with this approach. All communities in the country need this kind of skill formation.

The trouble is elsewhere, in at least three manners. Talk of skill development in India has been on since independence. ITIs are a chain of institutions across the country, so well-known that many confuse them with IITs. However, the pace of growth and requirements has been so large that not even World Bank grants were able to breed vibrancy into ITIs or polytechnics to either make them world-class institutions or indeed make them the seed-bed of certain types of employment. The more successful of polytechnics, for instance, the Allahabad Polytechnic or the Institute of Rural Technology, have their hands so full that they sought shelter under the omnibus title of ‘Institute’.

In a status-bound society like in India, if the affected party does not see his status rising after undergoing a given skill-formation experience, he either stops making that kind of effort or convinces himself that he needs to peruse ‘higher education’. This has led to a strange kind of skill formation in ,say, Commerce or in Engineering with does not make any sense to many employers. Further, degrees have made individuals unfit for understanding dignity of labor.

The truth, however, like always, is multi-faceted. Not only do many people not know their jobs, but because of ‘contacts’ they are loaded with assignments for which they were temperamentally and professional inept. Consider one of the biggest employers in this country — Indian Railways. The road to skilled jobs in the railways reportedly has often been through serving as domestic help to the high-and-mighty of the railway system.

Putting it simply, it is always difficult to map skills where standards of recruitment and selection are unknown. Many people are not even aware of what it takes to deliver till they start learning by doing, and at times with huge costs to themselves and others. Watch the electrician climb the pole to set right the electricity fault. Even his manner of doing so, would show the risk he is running, not only for others but for himself too.

Illustratively, when the rain falls and some electrical line snaps, resulting in people getting electrocuted — the incident does find a small mention in the media. But nothing really changes. The episodic reactions are predictable and useless.

The limited inquiry made by the writer did not ever show the ‘fault’ which led to the snapping of the lines and the individual being electrocuted, being ever investigated, conclusively. The responsibility is never fixed in most such cases.

As a people, we have mastered that art of evasive investigation. Recall an incident of stampede on the new Delhi railway station, during the ministership of a public leader who had visited jail for long periods of time. The investigation into the stampede showed that there was no lapse on anybody’s part. Hence, there was no question of fixing accountability. That so many people died was regrettable, but since no one had caused the tragedy, the event was declared as ‘just happened’! So much for skill formation and more. If the story was to end there, it would be comprehensible even if it were regrettable. The truth of the matter is, at many levels of institutions, there are individuals for whom inefficiency is a conscious choice.

People chose to be inefficient because, to be inefficient is ‘no crime’. It breeds convenience. The superior of his own survival looks the other way, colleagues defend and plead for one another. Subordinates see it as the way to go. Skilling India, therefore, needs not just physical effort but mindset change.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author Vinayshil Gautam,senior advisor, KPMG and Dean, KPMG Academy. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

A skill is worth more than a degree on paper

By Vikrant Pande

The value of something is shown by demand: 23 lakh candidates (including 2.22 lakh engineers and 255 PhD holders) applied for the 368 vacant peon posts in Uttar Pradesh recently. Some of this excess demand represents the above-market wages and job security of government jobs but most of it is just the unemployability of the educated.

The biggest challenges for employability lie in engineering, MBA and MCA degrees. In Maharashtra, only 1.07 lakh students applied for around 1.56 lakh engineering degree seats last year. Similar statistics are seen for many states whether Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Telangana or Andhra Pradesh. The national regulator of engineering education suggests that capacity will come down from the current 16.7 lakh to about 11 lakh in the near term.

Clearly, the focus has to be on skills than degrees. This is the first year when the top 20 per cent of ITI graduates will get more salaries than the bottom 20 per cent of engineers. But vocational training all over the world is usually for other people’s children and not yours; the Nobel Prize for Economics went to Michael Spence who suggested that employees are able to use their education credentials to get social signalling value. In India, we have amplified this problem by poor strategy, execution and accountability.

Vocational training is a policy orphan because strategy is set by Delhi but delivery systems are in the hand of states. There is a mismatch between what is taught and what employers need; we still teach automobile mechanics on a carburettor but no Indian car is now made with one. We teach engineering drawing using boards when all over the world employers use computer-aided design tools. India’s skill crisis requires solutions that create new connections between the education and employment system to reduce the mismatch between what students learn and what employers want.

One of the best possible routes to learning skills and also getting a job is through the apprenticeship programmes, which have been the path to a career for decades in countries like Austria and Germany.

Setting up a ministry of skills is one part of the solution. Twenty three central ministries are involved in skills but as Socrates said, a slave who has three masters is free. Same is the case with the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC).

Skilling, as seen internationally, is not the end-of-the-pipe training but something which needs to be integrated into college education. We need to significantly revamp syllabus across the board and have each state set up a Skills University, which prays to one god of the employer.

Skills Universities, which offer academic modularity (mobility between certificates, diplomas and associate degrees), flexible delivery, and a new apprenticeship regime will offer both employability and social signalling value. The National Skills Qualifications Framework is a good start. The government should take the lead in hiring based on skills’ evaluation and create a Skills Mission, which converges all such programmes into one. States need to recognize that labor law reform is a job creation agenda. Lastly, the toxic Right to Education Act – it confuses school building with building schools – has to be amended to become the Right to Learning Act.

With India’s large youth population – 10 lakh children will join the labor force every month for the next 20 years – we need to act firmly, quickly and boldly. Indian education faces the impossible trinity of cost, quality and scale, and we need a number of independent and different solutions. The vocationalization of higher education is an overdue reform.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

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रोजगार पैदा करने में पिछड़ रहा है भारत

4 वर्षों में भारत में कामकाजी लोगों की आबादी दुनिया में सबसे अधिक हो जाएगी, यानी कि लगभग 87 करोड़। जब देश इस प्रकार की आबादी का उच्च अनुपात छू लेते हैं तो उनसे अपेक्षा की जाती है कि वे ‘जनसांख्यिकी लाभ’ अर्जित करेंगे। सीधे शब्दों में इसका अर्थ है कि चूंकि अधिकतर नागरिक काम करते हैं इसलिए आर्थिक वृद्धि दर बढ़ती जाती है। ऐसी अपेक्षा और पूर्वानुमान है कि भारत इस प्रकार की स्थिति तक जल्दी ही पहुंच जाएगा।

फिर भी इस विषय में दूसरा दृष्टिकोण भी है। तथ्यों पर आधारित पत्रकारिता करने वाले संगठनों ‘इंडिया स्पैंड’ ने कुछ महीने पूर्व एक रिपोर्ट जारी की थी जिसमें रोजगार के मुद्दे पर प्रकाश डाला गया था और 6 टिप्पणियां की गई थीं जो इस प्रकार हैं :

  1. 2015 में भारत में संगठित क्षेत्र यानी कि बड़ी-बड़ी  कम्पनियों और फैक्टरियों के क्षेत्र में सबसे कम  रोजगार  सृजन किया, जोकि 8 महत्वपूर्ण उद्योगों में 7 वर्ष दौरान रोजगार सृजन का सबसे न्यूनतम आंकड़ा है।
  2. औपचारिक मासिक अदायगी अथवा सामाजिक सुरक्षा लाभों के बगैर काम करने वाले असंगठित क्षेत्र में रोजगारों का अनुपात 2017 में बढ़कर 93 प्रतिशत तक पहुंच जाएगा।
  3. ग्रामीण उजरतें दशक के सबसे न्यूनतम स्तर पर  हैं यानी 2014-15 में 0.2 प्रतिशत सिकुड़ गईं। 47 प्रतिशत लोगों को रोजगार देने वाला कृषि क्षेत्र 2015-16 में 1 प्रतिशत बढ़ रहा है।
  4. रोजगार याफ्ता लोगों में से कम से कम 60 प्रतिशत  ऐसे हैं जिन्हें पूरे साल के लिए रोजगार नहीं मिलता।  यह  इस बात का संकेत है कि ‘अपर्याप्त रोजगार’ एवं अस्थायी रोजगार एक व्यापक घटनाक्रम है।
  5. नई कम्पनियां बनने की प्रक्रिया मंद पड़कर 2009 के स्तर पर चली गई है जबकि वर्तमान कम्पनियां मात्र 2 प्रतिशत की दर से विकास कर रही हैं जोकि गत 5 वर्षों में न्यूनतम आंकड़ा है।
  6. चूंकि बड़ी-बड़ी कार्पोरेशनें और सार्वजनिक क्षेत्र के बैंक वित्तीय रूप में तनावग्रस्त हैं जिसके चलते भारत में कम्पनियों का औसत आकार घटता जा रहा है। यह ऐसे समय में हो रहा है जब संगठित और बड़े आकार की कम्पनियां ही रोजगार सृजन में साकारात्मक भूमिका अदा कर रही हैं।

यह इस बात का संकेत है कि भारी-भरकम श्रमिक शक्ति एक ऐसे वातावरण की ओर बढ़ रही है जिसमें इसे सोख लेने की क्षमता ही नहीं है।

रिपोर्ट में यह भी इंगित किया गया  कि बेशक भारत में 1991 के बाद उच्च वृद्धि दर बनी हुई है। फिर भी आधी से भी कम आबादी को ही सम्पूर्ण रूप में रोजगार मिल पाया था। इसकी तुलना में ‘संयुक्त राष्ट्र विकास कार्यक्रम’ (यू.एन.डी.पी.) की एक रिपोर्ट में कहा गया : ‘‘चीन में 1991 से 2013 के बीच रोजगारों की संख्या  62.8 करोड़ से बढ़कर 77.2 करोड़ हो गई जोकि 14.4 करोड़ की वृद्धि है। परन्तु  इसी बीच काम करने की आयु वाली आबादी में 24.1 करोड़ की वृद्धि हुई।’’ रिपोर्ट में यह भी कहा गया है : ‘‘चीन की तुलना में भारत के मामले में अधिक व्यापक खाई यह सुझाव देती है कि भारत में रोजगार सृजन की क्षमता बहुत सीमित है जोकि भारत में 35 वर्षों से अधिक आयु की श्रमिक शक्ति के विस्तार के चलते एक गंभीर चुनौती है।’’

जब तक अर्थव्यवस्था में गत 25 वर्षों से हो रही घटनाओं को जारी रखने की बजाय कोई बड़ा बदलाव नहीं होता, रोजगार सृजन नहीं होगा। परम्परागत रूप में देश जिस प्रकार विकासशील बने वह था बहुत सस्ते उत्पाद उपलब्ध करवाने वाला कारखाना क्षेत्र-जैसे कि परिधान निर्यात। बाद में यही देश महंगे उत्पादों की ओर बढ़े जैसे कि आटोमोबाइल व इलैक्ट्रोनिक्स।

भारत में ये तीनों सैक्टर मौजूद हैं, लेकिन किसी उल्लेखनीय पैमाने पर नहीं। उदाहरण के तौर पर परिधान उद्योग में हम प्रतिस्पर्धा करते हैं और अक्सर बंगलादेश जैसे देशों से पराजित हो जाते हैं। वियतनाम और श्रीलंका हमारी तुलना में अधिक कुशल एवं सस्ते हैं। गत 7 वर्षों दौरान ग्लोबल अर्थव्यवस्था में मंदी आने का तात्पर्य यह है कि विदेशों में विराट पैमाने पर कोई ऐसी मांग नहीं उठेगी जिसका हम लाभ ले सकें।

विकास का परम्परागत रास्ता भारत के लिए स्पष्ट रूप में बंद हो चुका है तो ऐसे में हम अपनी श्रमिक शक्ति के बड़े आकार लाभ लेने का प्रबंध कैसे कर सकते हैं? यह एक ऐसा प्रश्न है जिसका उत्तर शीघ्रातिशीघ्र  दिया जाना चाहिए, क्योंकि हमारे पास  बहुत अधिक समय नहीं है।

मेरा मानना है कि यह आशा करना पूरी तरह गलत है कि सरकार अकेली या प्रमुख अंशदाता के रूप में कोई हल उपलब्ध करवा सकती है। कारखाना क्षेत्र में हमें बड़े स्तर पर निवेश हासिल न होने का  एक  कारण  यह  है कि हमारे यहां आधारभूत ढांचे तथा कनैक्टिविटी की भारी कमी है। यहां हम स्पष्ट रूप में देख सकते हैं कि निवेश एवं वरीयताक्रम के मामले में हमारी केन्द्रीय सरकार की भूमिका कितनी महत्वपूर्ण है।

लेकिन एक अन्य इतना ही बड़ा कारण यह है कि हमारे पास कुशल श्रम शक्ति की कमी है। यह स्थिति उच्च वर्गीय शहरी भारतीयों को हैरान कर सकती है क्योंकि अपनी अपेक्षाकृत अच्छी शिक्षा के कारण काफी आसानी से रोजगार हासिल कर लेते हैं, लेकिन भारतीयों के विशाल बहुमत की शिक्षा व संसाधनों तक पहुंच नहीं होती इसलिए वे आधुनिक अर्थव्यवस्था में काम करने के लिए फिट नहीं हैं। यह स्थिति ‘असैंबली लाइन’ ड्यूटी के आधारभूत कुशल ब्ल्यू कालर कार्यों के मामले में भी सही है। दूसरी ओर फिलीपींस जैसे देश हमारे ‘आर्थिक पिछवाड़े’ में सेंध लगा रहे हैं, खास तौर पर सेवा क्षेत्र में। क्योंकि आटोमेशन हर वर्ष सकल नए रोजगारों को घटाती जा रही है।

हमारे प्रधानमंत्री इस समस्या को पहचानते हैं, इसीलिए उन्होंने ‘स्किल इंडिया’ अभियान शुरू किया है ताकि  करोड़ों भारतीयों को आधारभूत ब्ल्यू कालर कौशल से लैस किया जा सके। इस मामले में भी नतीजे आने में वक्त लगेगा क्योंकि भारत में प्राइमरी स्तर की पढ़ाई का भी बुरा हाल है। जितना हम इस बारे में सोचते हैं उतना ही हमारे लिए मुश्किल होता जा रहा है कि भारत अपनी विराट श्रमिक शक्ति का लाभ कैसे ले सकता है। यदि आंतरिक और बाहरी दोनों ही मोर्चों पर बदलाव नहीं लाया जाता तो व्यापक बेरोजगारी और सामाजिक बेचैनी का खतरा हमारे सिर पर तलवार की तरह लटक रहा है लेकिन समस्या यह है कि बदलाव कहीं भी दिखाई नहीं दे रहा।

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author Aakaar Patel from Punjab Kesari. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

Opinion: Where does the responsibility for skills development lie?

At a recent City & Guilds Group debate on the future of work – discussing how work will change as the capabilities of machines encroach on the tasks and roles that have, so far, been managed by humans – there was a stark divide between those believing in a future of rewarding job roles and empowered employees, and those expecting a downgrading of skills, stripping employees of economic power. But whose version of the future is right?

The entrepreneurs on the panel – Sahar Hashemi, co-founder of Coffee Republic, and Sherry Coutu, serial entrepreneur and chair of the ScaleUp Institute – were optimistic. They argued that the jobs likely to be substituted in this technological revolution would include unrewarding, repetitive roles. People would be freed to be more entrepreneurial, more themselves, with more control over their careers.

Economist John Philpott was less confident, anticipating that new technologies would de-skill jobs. Across the global economy, he expected to see job substitution, like that of high-skilled cabbies with lower-skilled Uber drivers.

Whatever the outlook, the consensus was that ongoing skills development will be vital.

However, the real discussion is whether employees can shape and control this future by taking the initiative to upskill themselves. Are employers on the hook for their employees’ skills development? Or should individuals take control of their own destiny? It’s in both employers’ and employees’ interests to develop the skills to be productive and perform well. But what’s the best model for acquiring skills when the requirements of the workplace are changing fast?

It seems to us that there are good reasons for employees to treat development as their responsibility. As employees we can often react more nimbly than our employers, taking advantage of the increasingly diverse choice of training available to individuals and organizations.

The good news for businesses is that employees are committed to developing their skills: research from the City & Guilds Group showed just 8 per cent aren’t actively developing their skills for the future. Further data from Filtered shows huge numbers of individuals are paying for training to build the core skills they need in their careers.

So if employees are proactively developing their skills, how can they ensure their hard work is recognized and rewarded, especially if training is being undertaken independently of their organization? Surely they deserve recognition for taking the initiative to develop themselves.

We need a system where employees can bank credit for the development they’ve made. Digital credentialing, by the evidencing of training or skills through a digital badge, for example, allows individuals’ skills to be recognized more flexibly than in a learning management system or on a CV.

In turn, managers also have a responsibility to help their staff understand which skills they need to develop. The City & Guilds Group research shows that people are overwhelmingly confident in their skills and the future. That’s no bad thing of course, but employees must recognize the trends that could impact on their work, so they can take action to ensure they remain productive, and their skills match future job requirements. For example, skills that cannot easily be automated – such as leadership or people skills – will be highly desirable if projections of automation and robotics are on the cards.

As the world of work evolves, and learning becomes more accessible and flexible, the trend for ongoing, employee-led development is likely to continue. But if we want this trend to have impact, skills development needs to be recognized and aligned not just to current business and industry needs – but to whatever the future workplace looks like.

Chris Littlewood is head of content and science at Filtered, an online training provider in UK.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited by skillreporter.com.

Employing the Unemployed-Bandhan’s Intervention

by Rajesh Banerjee

Once only Higher secondary pass out candidates had got the resource for their daily bread and butter from his concept and after getting the chance by practicing in fieldwork for Bandhan MFI rural micro financing.

After 12 years all the Madhyamik, H.S passed outs are getting the chance to be enrolled in his Skill development Mission in his dream program EUP, Mr. Chandra Sekhar Ghosh, MD and CEO of Bandhan Bank, trying to keep aligned all the youth in economic development era through skill set up gradation. Skilling must be the priority in terms of developing youth to make them economically stand and sustaining the career of their upcoming days.

Once COO of NSDC said, `Skill is the third religion of India’, like all other states, West Bengal is also some steps ahead than the others. Recently Howrah ITI has got the best Skill Development Institute award among all others. Not only Govt. owned and private education apex bodies like it is but some remarkable footsteps in skill development are being created by some major players like Bandhan. In the tenure of fourteen years of its financial journey, and being as banking entity, a few years ago it has started its skilling mission development program as a credit plus intervention to make it happen for sustainable social and economic development under its social development wing Bandhan Konnagar. In 2009 it has started its pilot EUP (Employing the Unemployed Program) with DR. Reddy’s Foundation in some in and around places in Kolkata with two centers.

Recently from 2013, they alone emerged as a best player in skill development with joining hand with HSBC bank for sustainable vocational skill training and placement in and around 10 centers in West Bengal, Odisha, and Bihar. All the class 10 pass, 10+2, graduate candidates are enrolling them in 60 day’s training either in Hospitality, Customer relation and sales, ITes & BPO, Hardware & Networking, Refrigerator and Air conditioning, Computer Accounting training in a subsidized training cost. To make them employable and boost them in job field or in work place and getting them placed as well, basic computer, grooming, mock interview, soft skill classes are being held in the BSDC (Bandhan Skill Development Center). Till now more than 10000 candidates have enrolled them in all these training centers and among them 8600 are already placed in various renowned organizations in Kolkata, Delhi, Goa, Mumbai, Bangalore, Patna and Odhisa.

Add on to it, physically challenged candidates are also being entertained in some centers in this EUP program by joining hands with State Govt. of West Bengal. Keeping align to that Bandhan has tied up with some Colleges, Rehabilitation centers, Homes to impart the basic learning for livelihood and alternate income generations. Some renowned NGOs and Social Development organizations like Save the Children, Aga Khan Foundation, Magic Bus Corporation, and Rotary International are already in and with Bandhan’s this social movement of skill development. Birds’ eye view of Bandhan is now only on upgrading the skill of youth for sustainability.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited by skillreporter.com.

Need for telecom skill development in India

by Nigel Eastwood

Telecom sector has been among the biggest employers in India and it continues to enroll more people. The sector has created quarter million jobs in the last few years alone. And telecom, growing at 15% a year, will need almost four million skilled workforce by 2022. While there are plenty of new jobs in the sector, the challenge remains in getting skilled manpower with an ability to constantly learn new architectures and technologies be it 3G, 4G or in future 5G and even Wi-Fi roll out, that is hugely underpenetrated in India.

With tele density in large urban cities crossing 100% it might appear that whatever growth has to happen has happened. But telecom is such an evolving space that demands on new technologies, handsets, networks, capabilities and skills continues to far outstrip supply. And though urban areas might be well penetrated, as far as telecom services are concerned, rural penetration at around 50% leaves plenty of headroom for growth. While urban areas move to newer technologies, rural areas have twin opportunities to catch up and leapfrog almost simultaneously. Existing mobile services users need to catch up with their urban dwellers in terms of data consumption while the smartphone have-nots need to be brought into the user base, so they can also benefit economically and socially.

Even newer technologies like Internet of Things (IoT) present opportunities for telecom workers to re-skill so that they can deploy and maintain a network of smart sensors. These skills will also go into building smart cities.

A recent study by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry noted that out of the estimated 250 million new wireless users in next five years, about 100 million will come from rural areas. This will lead to demand for skilled manpower in rural areas—people who can not only deploy networks but also educate new users on benefits of smartphones as a tool for everything from m-governance to m-commerce and, on how to stay always on via Wi-Fi.

For certain services like Wi-Fi even urban areas in India need to deploy hotspots fast. Countries like US and those in Europe have seen around 70% of data consumption happening on public Wi-Fi networks while in India that is less than 5%.

So telecom faces not only a business challenge but a skills challenge as well. The good news is that India can make both challenges an opportunity. Skills are needed in areas like developing network architectures, radio technologies, mobility solutions, security, IoT and so on. Manpower should have the ability to administer routers, gateways and oversee telecom infrastructure including mobile wireless, wireline, Wi-Fi. Opportunities exist for entry level jobs and those which require domain expertise, like network engineers with 8 to 10 years experience.

Cross platform telecom skills would be much needed to deploy integrated solutions. Knowledge of cabling, quality of service attributes, documentation practices, analytics and related areas will also come in handy.

There have been efforts from the government to create manpower relevant for the telecom sector. To train people the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) have taken key initiatives. Even the Telecom Sector Skill Council, a body under the National Skill Development Corporation are working towards narrowing the demand and supply gap for skilled manpower in the sector. The private sector should forge alliances with academic institutions to get access to ready skills from the campus itself.

The Indian telecom sector contributes 3% to the country’s GDP and this will easily increase as telecom is the vital tool catalyzing efficiency and entrepreneurship at a massive scale. According to a report, the mobile economy in India is growing at a rapid pace and will contribute $400 billion to the country’s economic output. It will also generate 4.1 million new jobs in coming years. Many of those jobs will be created in rural areas, where penetration of telecom services needs to go up to improve quality of life and boost rural incomes. It’s time to accelerate skill development in telecom space to realize that vision.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com. SkillReporter shall not be responsible for any damage caused to any person/organisation directly or indirectly.)

भारत का कौशल संकट है गंभीर, 22,000 करोड़ रुपए वाली परियोजनाएं भी नहीं हो सकती हैं सफल

प्रधानमंत्री नरेंद्र मोदी ने लाखों युवा भारतीयों को रोजगार उपलब्‍ध कराने के लिए खजाने के दरवाजे खोल दिए हैं। पिछले दो हफ्तों में, केंद्रीय कैबिनेट ने दो प्रमुख कौशल विकास योजनाओं (स्किल डेवेलपमेंट स्‍कीम) को अपनी मंजूरी दी है, जिनकी लागत 22,000 करोड़ रुपए (3.3 अरब डॉलर) है। इस तरह की पहल भारत के भविष्‍य के लिए महत्‍वपूर्ण है, क्‍योंकि एशिया महाद्वीप में यहां 2050 तक सबसे ज्‍यादा –एक अरब से ज्‍यादा- काम करने वाले युवा वर्ग की आबादी होगी।

स्‍कीम की विस्‍तृत जानकारी यह है:  

  • केंद्रीय कैबिनेट ने 13 जुलाई को प्रधानमंत्री कौशल विकास योजना (पीएमकेवीवाय) के तहत 12,000 करोड़ रुपए वाली स्‍किल डेवेलपमेंट प्‍लान को मंजूरी दी है, इसके तहत चार साल में एक करोड़ भारतीयों को प्रशिक्षित किया जाएगा। इसमें घरेलू उद्योगों और गल्‍फ देशों, यूरोप तथा अन्‍य देशों में रोजगार के लिए अंतरराष्‍ट्रीय मानकों के अनुरूप प्रशिक्षण दिया जाएगा।
  • 5 जुलाई को कैबिनेट ने 2020 तक 50 लाख लोगों को ट्रेंड करने के लिए 10,000 करोड़ रुपए के अप्रेंटिसशिप प्रोग्राम को मंजूरी दी। सरकार ने अपने एक बयान में कहा कि यह स्‍कीम पूरे देश में संपूर्ण अप्रेंटिसशिप ईकोसिस्‍टम को उत्‍प्रेरित करेगा और यह सभी भागीदारों के लिए जीत की स्थिति होगी। देश में यह एक सबसे ज्‍यादा ताकतवर स्किल डिलीवरी व्‍हीकल बनेगा।

भारत के स्किल डेवेलपमेंट मंत्री राजीव प्रताप रूडी ने कहा कि ” यह हमारे देश के युवाओं को सशक्‍त बनाने की दिशा में हमारे लिए एक बड़ा कदम है और हम मजबूत निगरानी के साथ इस प्रणाली की क्षमता बढ़ाने और प्रशिक्षण को अधिक प्रभावी बनाने की कोशिश कर रहे हैं “|

सरकार ने यह कदम ऐसे समय में उठाए हैं, जब भारत स्‍वयं को दुनिया का मैन्‍युफैक्‍चरिंग हब बनाने की कोशिशों में जुटा हुआ है। पीएम मोदी वैश्विक कंपनियों को भारत में निर्माण केंद्र स्‍थापित करने का न्‍यौता दे रहे हैं। ज्‍यादा इंडस्‍ट्री का मतलब ज्‍यादा जॉब और यदि भारत लगातार कुशल श्रमिकों की आपूर्ति नहीं कर पाता है तो यह कंपनियां अन्‍य देशों का रुख कर सकती हैं। इसलिए हाई-स्किल लेबर भारत के लिए एक महत्‍वपूर्ण मुद्दा है। अधिकांश भारतीय इंजीनियरिंग ग्रेजुएट जॉब के लिए सही ढंग से प्रशिक्षित हैं, वहीं 93 फीसदी बिजनेस स्‍कूल ग्रेजुएट बेरोजगार हैं।

यहां तीन बड़ी समस्‍याएं हैं, जिन्‍हें सरकार को दूर करने की जरूरत है:

पहला, ऐसी योजनाएं पूर्व में सफल नहीं हो पाई हैं। एनजीओ प्रथम ने अपनी एक रिपोर्ट में बताया है कि पिछले साल जुलाई में लॉन्‍च होने से लेकर अब तक पीएमकेवीवाय ने 20,00,000 लोगों को प्रशिक्षित किया है। लेकिन केवल इनमें से 81,978 लोगों को ही रोजगार मिला है। अधिकांश लोगों ने प्रशिक्षण कार्यक्रम को बीच में ही छोड़ दिया। कुछ लोग प्रशिक्षण के बाद अपने गांव वापस लौट गए और कुछ लोगों ने इसे बीच में ही छोड़ दिया।

यहां अन्‍य लूपहोल भी हैं। यूपीए सरकार द्वारा लॉन्‍च की गई स्‍टैंडर्ड ट्रेनिंग असेसमेंट रिवार्ड (स्‍टार) स्‍कीम के तहत कोई भी प्‍लेसमेंट का रिकॉर्ड नहीं है, जबकि इसके तहत लाखों लोगों को प्रशिक्षण दिया गया। इसके अतिरिक्‍त, आउटलुक मैगजीन द्वारा अगस्‍त 2015 में की गई एक तहकीकात के मुताबिक नेशनल स्किल डेवेलपमेंट कॉरपोरेशन (एनएसडीसी) में किए गए निवेश का असल फायदा कॉरपोरेट्स को हुआ न कि रोजगार चाहने वालों को। यह एक पब्लिक प्राइवेट पार्टनशिप प्रोग्राम था, जो स्किल ट्रेनिंग देने के लिए फंड उपलब्‍ध कराता था। एनएसडीसी द्वारा उपलब्‍ध कराया गया धन प्राइवेट स्किल ट्रेनर की जेब में गया, जो कि अक्‍सर बड़े कॉरपोरेट्स से जुड़े होते थे, जांच पड़ताल में पाया गया कि इस योजना का कोई भी परिणाम नहीं निकला।

संपूर्ण स्‍किल इंडिया प्रोग्राम ने बड़े स्‍तर पर स्‍कूल स्‍तर की शिक्षा को अनदेखा किया है। प्राइमरी स्‍कूल के छात्र बुनियादी गणित के सवाहों को हल नहीं कर सकते या किताबों को नहीं पढ़ सकते, जो उन्‍हें पढ़ना आना चाहिए। सरकार ने अपनी प्रस्‍तावित नई राष्‍ट्रीय शिक्षा नीति में इस वास्‍तविकता को रेखांकित किया है, लेकिन अभी तक देश के शिक्षा तंत्र में सुधार के लिए सरकार ने अभी तक कोई बड़ी घोषणा नहीं की है।

(Disclaimer:The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

How is Indian realty addressing the problem of skill deficit?

Only 4% of India’s workforce is skilled as compared to 96% in South Korea, 80% in Japan, 74% in Germany, 68% in the UK and 45% in China. Experts say that developers, construction firms and architects, are now incentivising their employees to take up courses to develop, update and modernize their skill sets. There is no quick solution to the skill deficit problem as it requires a long-term focused resolution and consistent effort. The Indian real estate industry recognizes that this problem could get out of hand, if proper steps are not taken immediately. Industry initiatives to promote the skill development Keeping in mind the need of the real estate industry for skilled labour, CREDAI has launched a multi-pronged programme to develop skilled manpower in the industry.

Jitendra Thakkar, chairman, CREDAI Skilling Initiative, explained the initiatives saying, “More than five years back, CREDAI launched the Kushal programme in partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to conduct skill upgradation programmes for construction workers on site, in Pune. Till date, it has trained more than 25,000 workers who are highly sought-after due to their experience. “Similar programmes are now being launched by CREDAI all over India. These are executed in partnership with the NSDC, under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), the Directorate General of Employment and Training (DGET) and the state governments. In all such programmes, CREDAI proposes to follow the National Open School (NOS) finalized by the Construction Sector Skill Council of India (CSDCI), in association with the industry, keeping in view its specific requirements and impart training to construction workers through professional training agencies in the construction sector.”

Employment opportunities require highly specialised skills. Additionally, the technical progress witnessed this last decade due to continued growth in various sectors, has made the arena more challenging. “A student aspiring to join a particular segment should be well-versed with the nuances of the profession or should have the subject knowledge and relevant skill set,” points out Anil Sawhney, associate dean & director, School of Construction, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity University. “A limited number of institutions have started offering courses on these streams. Some schools have also been set up to fulfil the industry need for skilled professionals.” While the requirement for skilled professionals increases, there are a limited number of programs that address the skill gap and train people with global practices.

India’s growth target can only be accomplished once the crucial issue of skilled manpower shortages is addressed. Rohan Bulchandani, co-founder and president, of The Real Estate Management Institute (REMI) informs, “REMI has been created to increase the supply of professionals and address the existing skill gap. The Indian real estate industry is underserved, fragmented and lacking in fundamental best practices. REMI looks to facilitate individual careers in real estate, as well as enhance leadership for existing real estate professionals and serve as a cornerstone for building a better future.” Experts firmly believe that India is slowly stepping ahead while realising the importance of skilled development. Hence, given the shortage of skilled manpower in the industry on the one hand and high levels of unemployment in the country on the other, the need for focusing on skill development programs becomes extremely important now and requires greater initiatives in the future.

(Disclaimer:The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

Skill India to Build India, a “Country of Entrepreneurs”

Entrepreneurship has taken India by storm. A storm our government saw approaching and did everything to only make it stronger. This is not a storm of destruction, but one that will build India.

Celebrating this spirit of entrepreneurship, Skill India will be celebrating its first anniversary on 15thJuly, 2016 and marking the day, the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee will be inaugurating the first edition of “India Skills Competition” on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day.

IndiaSkills is a national competition steered by Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to select the best talent who will lead India’s participation at the biennial World Skills International Competition scheduled at Abu Dhabi in 2017. The opening ceremony will be organized at Vigyan Bhawan on 15th July, 2016, while the main competition will be held at Pragati Maidan on 16th and 17th July, 2016.

Considering skill development is a national priority, Shri Rohit Nandan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship said, “IndiaSkills is a big opportunity for the youth of our nation to showcase their skill sets on a global platform like WorldSkills International Competition, which is globally recognized as Olympics for Skills and is also recognised by UN, where candidates from more than 75 member countries participate. This is our effort to bring recognition and respect to our country’s vibrant youth and make them more employable as per industry standards, thereby transforming the skills, labour and employment landscape of India.”

Skill Indiahas been quite close to the President’s heart. In a recent initiative, he had ensured that 1500 employees at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, get certified under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) component of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal VikasYojana (PMKVY), across 18 job roles. The program has ensured that the people working at the President’s house get oriented to their job roles, are assessed on their existing skills and then certified basis the National Skills Qualification Framework.

In order to select the best talent to represent India at IndiaSkills, MSDE and NSDC have completed more than 80 regional competitions in 24 skills/trades including hair stylist, welding, car painting, auto body repair, graphic designing, robotics to name a few.

Close to 4820 candidates registered to compete this year. Around 40 organisation like Mahindra, Tata, Maruti, Toyota, CII, FICCI, NASSCOM, CREDAI, NID, NIFT, have come together to make IndiaSkills a success (including consortium partners). The Sector Skill Councils are ensuring standards aligned to National Skill Qualification Framework are being followed in the competition to monitor the quality and standards of the competition which will be important to follow to compete at a world scale.

The shortlisted candidates from these events will qualify for the final selection for WorldSkills International Competition at Abu Dhabi, 2017. The competition will conclude with a closing ceremony on 17thJuly, 2016. It is a platform that will bring youth, industries, and educators together and provide youth an opportunity to compete, experience, and learn how to become the best in the skill of their choice.

At the last event organized at Sao Paolo, Brazil, in August 2015, a team of 29 candidates (all below 23 years of age) participated in 27 skills and won 8 medallions of excellence.

This event will bring together key stakeholders including Central Ministries/Departments, State Governments, leading Industry Bodies, and trainees. Partnerships with all these stakeholders is vital to ensure Skill India’s success.

(Disclaimer:The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

Skill India or kill India: How to cope with the impending demographic deluge

As the politics of fear and insecurity spreads its shadow over the Western world, and robots and 3D printing threaten to dislodge blue-collar workers worldwide, the jobs story is grim in the world’s fastest growing economy as well. At current rates, India will add 80 million new job-seekers by 2025, most of them unskilled. With 30 million new jobs projected at current rates, the picture turns depressing very quickly.

Higher education remains beyond the reach of three-quarters of India’s school-leaving youth. Not a huge loss, some argue. With an employability of 10-15% of its graduates, the mushrooming engineering and management schools are doubtful investments at best. Skilling, arguably, is the only practical solution to the impending demographic deluge for the world’s youngest major country.

It is, of course, hardly a cakewalk. By 2022, the nation’s skilling needs are estimated at over 400 million, well over 10 times our current rate. And it is not about the youth alone. Technology change routinely displaces thousands of middle-age workers. Every year around 60,000 ex-servicemen retire from the forces in the prime of their lives to join the civilian stream.

The impatience behind the recent PMO directive to expand the network of ITIs by over 50% in a single year is understandable. But the figures tell only a part of the story. Skills training remains “un-cool” for much of India’s youth. Training quality – in reality and perception – continues to hinder job prospects.

But if the woods ahead look threatening there is a hint of a path as well. Others have traversed the road that India must take and have left models and lessons in their wake.

Skilling not cool enough for youth? In Australia close to a third of the youth eligible for university admission routinely choose to go for skill development instead. China deals with the “perception” problem by providing stipends for skill development (not available for degree programmes).

Are there real jobs at the end? Australia places three-quarters of its skill-enhanced youth within six months of completion. Relevance is the key issue here. In China, at least a third of the curriculum for skill development is developed by schools in association with local enterprises. The Dual Skilling system of Germany supplements classroom learning with “in-site” training in industry settings.

Where are the teachers? A ten-fold rise in training capacity requires an unprecedented mobilis=zation of faculty. This in turn needs a certification system that can convert industry professionals into skill trainers. China has solved this problem through the creation of a carefully thought out training and certification system of skill trainers. Trainers there need to stay current by doing annual industry stints.

Everything in the classroom? Apprenticeship forms the bulwark of Germany’s skill development sector. It is widely used in China’s SME sector too. It has been central to much of India’s traditional skill development, whether with the father or with “Ustads”.

The challenge lies in formalizing it, ensuring that the latest skills are picked up from the right workplaces, and scaling it country-wide. SMEs are often hungry for low-cost temporary workers. They are also the ones that most often complain about labour scarcity. Once again the challenge lies in building the bridges.

How to pull it off? At the policy level of course, the challenge is of governance and multi-stakeholder coordination. In China two national ministries collaborate to run the skill training apparatus. In Australia, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) provides a platform for coordination among various policy players in the skill exercise.

India needs to travel down this road, but be Usain Bolt where others have ambled. The central government cannot be the lone sprinter though. Unlike China where a 1996 law pretty much dictated industry participation, in India the effort can succeed only through spirited participation of government – Centre, states, local bodies alike – and the private sector – industry of all sizes and sectors. And all out of enlightened self-interest, not patriotism. The clock is ticking, louder every day.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

Ethiopia : Media role in persuading and bringing Behavioural Change towards technical and vocational education (TVET )

Needless to say, technical and vocational education is the foundation of sustainable development of any nation. Towards this end, a nation needs to chart out tangible strategies that could help its visions come true. Nation’s TVETs strategy was developed with the involvement of a broad- range of stakeholders from the private and public sectors.

It relies on an outcome-based system and a cooperation leaning on dedication and trust among stakeholders. In this regard, media takes the lion’s share. Media has become a mandatory component of our lives. To avert the misconceptions of society, media has the role of persuading and bringing behavioural change.

Many agree nation’ media has been trying to wield influence on society regarding the advantage of TVET. But, the media has not been involved to the extent of the demand in the lobar market.

The other point which should be underlined is that the nation is working to scale up foreign investment, which requires skilled human power for active engagement. Private and public industries are looking for more skilled and trained human power to join them. This demand could not be addressed unless a number of youths take outcome-based trainings.

Truly, TVET is seems suffering from the poor public image, for many associate it with menial jobs, low salary and lack of personal development opportunities.

This is partly due to the low quality of the previous TVET programme that did not allow TVET graduates to successfully compete in the labour market. TVET is generally perceived as a place of last resort for those students who failed to qualify for higher education.

(Disclaimer: The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

India Needs To Upgrade The Conventional Education framework

India is embarking on the journey of achieving progress in the living standard of people, transforming into a diverse, internationally-competitive economy. PM Modi’s precocious vision only highlights the fact that Skill Development is one of the essential ingredients for a country’s future economic growth, and is going to be the defining element in India’s growth story.

India is not new to Vocational Education and Skill Training. There are many centers and training organizations that work to enrich the lives of youth and provide skill training in sectors such as Automotive, Constructions, Travel & Tourism, Garment, etc., turning them into employable individuals.However, there still exists a gap between the high count of unemployed unskilled youth and incapacities of existing formal training centers, that we need to address.

Utilizing the dominant resource of unskilled labour should be a high priority at the moment as a skilled Indian workforce will not only aid the motives of “Make in India”, but the surplus skilled labours will be able to coincide with labour shortage across the globe. Thus, racing for ‘Skill India’ is the much needed leap for Indian and overseas job market.

The Need to Focus on Skill Training
India’s demographic dividend is promising; every third person in Indian cities today is a youth, which by 2020 will make India’s median age as 29. The demographic dividend can be seen as a boon to the country’s economic growth.

Together with pragmatic strategies and initiatives, India has the potential of becoming the “Skill Capital of the World” with the youngest workforce across the globe. This is a big cue for vocational training centres and skill development institutes across the country to upgrade their existing educational framework and provide educational courses that measure up to the global standards as well.

Government Initiative
The first meeting of the Governing Council of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM) was recently conducted under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Hon’ble Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Shri Rajiv Pratap Rudy, where it was announced that skill training was to be scaled up to cover at least 1.5 crore people during 2016-2017.

In addition to this, the capacity of ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes) will be enhanced over the next one year from 18.5 lakhs to 25 lakhs, adding over 5000 new ITIs to the existing count. The decision to set up 500 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (Prime Minister Skill Centres) across the country is expected to give a major boost to quality skill development. These Centres will solely be dedicated to provide free-of-cost skill training to the aspiring youth, aiming to accomplish the 1.5 crore beneficiary target.

Moreover, 50 Overseas Employment Skill Training Centres are to be launched as part of a formal plan to provide the Indian man-force to provide industry-specific skills and training in the upcoming sectors for overseas job prospects.

Developing Employable Youth and Entrepreneurs
In today’s time having a skill and then earning a livelihood is the way of life. Training institutes need to provide skills that are applicable with the current job scenario to produce employable, self-employed and even entrepreneurs.

A great momentum is building up with the recent announcement to increase the scale for skill training. This is a major breakthrough which is expected to create an enormous ripple effect in the Industry. This transformational change in India’s vocational training eco-system is expected to give a major boost to the country’s youth by improving their future prospects both in the Indian and the overseas market.

Prior to this, Indian youths were trained in only few traditional skills. Students now, will have the luxury to choose among a wider choice of career options in upcoming fields, that includes Aerospace; Sports, Physical Education, Fitness & Leisure; Chemical & Petrochemical Industry; Handcrafts & Carpets; Furniture & Fittings; Hydrocarbon Industry; Power Sector; Skill Industry, Green Jobs and Mining. Thus, through these upgraded vocational training we can empowering the youth with the knowledge and skill to build their careers,improve their standard of living and simultaneously participate in the growth of Indian’ economy.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

Young Singaporeans rank high in OECD study while older ones lag far behind

Singapore’s younger adults rank highly in numeracy, literacy and problem-solving skills, a major international study has found, but the older generation lags considerably behind. While this reflects the progress in education and training over the decades here, this “skills gap” also highlights that more needs to be done to upgrade the skills of older workers, said experts.

The study of 34 economies by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which included Singapore for the first time, also linked higher skill levels to better wages here, another reason for older workers to keep improving themselves.

Still, employers place more premium on qualifications, and a better balance should be found, believes OECD director for education and skills Andreas Schleicher.

The results of OECD’s Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (Piaac), which also involved countries such as Australia, Japan and South Korea, were released yesterday. Those aged between 16 and 34 in Singapore ranked second behind the Finns in problem-solving using digital tools, fifth in numeracy, which was also topped by Finland, and ninth in literacy, which was led by Japan.

But older adults here aged 45 to 65 performed lower than the OECD average. They were ranked 31st in literacy and numeracy skills and 18th for problem-solving.

The difference in scores between the younger and older generation here is also among the widest when compared with other countries. One reason for the gap, OECD said, could be the survey being conducted in English here. Almost eight in 10 respondents aged above 35 here said they were not native speakers.

Mr Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of the Singapore Workforce Development Agency, believes the difference reflects the marked improvement in Singapore’s education and training systems over the last 50 years – including the ramp-up in schools and programmes.

But it is “hugely important” that Singapore finds ways to upgrade the skills of older workers, such as through schemes like SkillsFuture, said Dr Schleicher.

SkillsFuture is a national initiative to equip workers with skills.Doing so could “dramatically raise” Singapore’s productivity and keep them employable, he said.

He highlighted how the survey, which involved 5,468 citizens and permanent residents, found that wage levels here were strongly linked to skill and education levels.

An increase of about 48 points in literacy proficiency scores is linked to a 12 per cent increase in hourly wages, almost double the OECD average. About 3.2 extra years in education bring a more than 30 per cent rise in wages – more than double the OECD average.

“Singapore employers pay quite a lot of attention to formal qualifications,” said Dr Schleicher. But this might not be a good indicator of one’s proficiency.

“It’s the use of skills that drives productivity, not years of education,” he added.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

The path to effectively scaling Skill Development programs

The launch of the Skill India Mission, and the creation of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has created an ideal political climate for companies to get involved and work towards scaling up their programs

Every year, India adds about 12 million people to its workforce, out of which a paltry 3.1 million are trained or qualified.

To close this gap in skills, the Indian government introduced the Skill India Mission which aims to train 550 million people by 2020. Since its launch on 15th July this year, the Mission has directed significant attention towards the issue of livelihoods and skill development and has garnered considerable support from companies and other key players in the sector. With the country projected to experience a peak in the ‘demographic dividend’ by the year 2020 (i.e. more than half of the population will be under the age of 35), India must make the most of this situation by harnessing the potential of this resource and undertaking strategies that are replicable and scalable.

Why scale up the skilling effort?
Getting anywhere near the government’s ambitious target of skilling 550 million people will require a substantial effort from key stakeholders, including the government and government machinery, NGOs, social enterprises and companies.

Dealing with such a vast number of unskilled people means that programs will have to be scaled across national and regional levels in order to have significant impact.

Scaling skill development programs will also directly benefit companies, especially those which operate in high-growth and resource intensive industries like manufacturing, retail, textiles, construction and others by providing these industries with the skilled labour they need in order to grow.

The 5 lessons for scaling up programs
Scaling up is a long-term commitment. It takes time and effort from many players and can be challenging, especially when dealing with the shifting priorities of governments and donors.

So let’s take a look at the five key lessons for effectively scaling up programs: A conducive political environment, strong partnerships, adopting a life-cycle approach, systematic monitoring and gradual processes.

  1. Conducive political environment
    Political commitment is critical in order to scale up programs. For skilling this is good news. The launch of the Skill India Mission, and the creation of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has created an ideal political climate for companies to get involved and work towards scaling up their programs. However, government priorities tend to change quickly – in the past few years alone, it has moved from sanitation to skilling to digital literacy – and scaling up needs a longer period of time to achieve results. It is critical that those involved in skilling use current avenues of opportunity to build lasting connections that can be sustained over the period of scaling up.
  2. Strong partnerships
    Partners are a key factor in helping to maintain the momentum and focus of skilling programs. Having clearly delineated roles and responsibilities for each partner will also ensure that the scaling up process is focused and will avoid overlapping functions. Companies can engage with models similar to the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), a public-private partnership between the government and the private sector, which is jointly funded by the government and companies and provides accredited skill training programs to communities across India. Developing strong partnerships with the government, NGOs and other relevant stakeholders is a key requirement for achieving any significant impact at scale.
  3. Lifecycle approach
    Adopting a lifecycle approach to skilling will make sure the kind of skills imparted to trainees are marketable and linked to available jobs. A lifecycle approach looks at all aspects of skilling, from the aspirations of people before training, to counseling and following up with beneficiaries during their employment. Skill development programs conducted in this manner will ensure that the training received has an impact on livelihoods and contributes to the economic well-being of communities. It is also important to ensure that a particular kind of skill training isn’t scaled across multiple areas in the same region as it will result in a saturated market with limited opportunities for those who are trained. If everyone in a particular district is trained in carpentry, there will be too many carpenters and not enough jobs. Conducting skilling programs at scale without developing a diverse range of training programmed or understanding what skills are needed may have an adverse effect.
  4. Monitoring programs
    Monitoring and evaluation needs to be sustained throughout the scaling up process in order to get a clear idea of what works and where things went wrong. Without robust monitoring procedures, leanings will not emerge and there will be no space for course correction. Documenting every success or failure is critical as it will help partners learn from mistakes and develop a set of best practices. In order to understand the effectiveness and ability to scale, monitoring needs to happen on two levels: At the original pilot phase and during the scaling up process.
  5. Gradual process
    Scaling up requires a long-term commitment and companies need to be aware of this. Partnerships formed to scale social sector issues like skill development rely on political processes, public sector bureaucracies and community engagement – none of which move quickly. Approaching the scaling up process in an orderly and gradual manner with careful logistical planning and a clear definition of a partner’s roles and responsibilities will go a long way to effectively scaling up skilling programs.

Finally, it is important to remember that no one model can work everywhere – adapting programs to diverse cultural regions or the specific requirements of trainees is par for the course. The process of scaling up is fairly fluid and subject to various changes.

While scaling up programs is crucial to close the wide gap in skills that India is currently experiencing, there are certain compromises that companies and their partners should be prepared for. Scaling up tends prioritize reach over impact, i.e. programs may have a wider reach but the impact within communities may become diluted due to the explicit focus on geographical and numerical reach.

That said, getting close to skilling 550 million people by 2022 needs a concerted effort from multiple stakeholders in the ecosystem and can only be achieved if programs are replicated and scaled across the country.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has not been edited and has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

Skill Gap needs broad effort

I DON’T like the term ‘born free’, because there is no African child born free in this country … I see it as a negative, false thesis that shows better change in this country, whereas all of us know that life hasn’t changed for the better.”

These are the words of a young man named Thando during an interview with Vanessa Malila, a postdoctoral student at Rhodes University for her paper Born Free but Still in Chains. He is one of several who speak in a similar vein.

He is voicing a common theme in the current discourse: the end of apartheid in 1994 promised a new beginning with political freedom and rising prospects for all, but 22 years on many of the so-called ‘born frees’ are not yet enjoying the fruits of the freedom.

According to the World Economic Forum Global Risk Report of 2014, SA has the third-highest rate of youth unemployment in the world. From 2010 to 2016, it rose from 50% to 52%, with the expanded definition, which includes those so discouraged they are no longer seeking work, as high as 63% in 2015.

A puzzling parallel problem is why, when so many youth are unemployed, does SA face a critical skills gap in the job market?..Why, when nearly two-thirds of young people do not have jobs, are 96% of CEOs in the country concerned about a critical skills gap according to a PwC report? This despite the fact that the government spends a relatively high percentage of GDP on the education system (4%).

Various reasons have been put forward, one of which is that there is a mismatch between what business needs and what the education and training system produces.

According to labour market analyst Loane Sharp, writing in City Press, 600,000 graduates were without jobs in 2012. But Haroon Bhorat and fellow economists Alan Hirsch, Ravi Kanbur, and Mthuli Ncube counter in their paper Economic Policy in SA Past, Present, and Future that there is a strong correlation between level of education and whether you have a job.

Two conclusions can be drawn from this: South Africans need more access to tertiary education and we need to direct students towards areas where there is a skills shortage.

Bhorat et al write that considering SA is a young nation built on a complex and challenging political economy, expectations that the new government would get everything right quickly were naive.

What other entities, then, can play a role in achieving these two objectives? The obvious answer is business.

Business has a huge incentive to solve this problem because millennials — born in 1980-2000, which includes the “born-free” generation — while thought of as “high maintenance” employees, are also highly prized as a dynamic force for innovation.

This generation thrives on challenges, enjoys freedom and the flexibility to be creative, and dislikes being micromanaged. It is the perfect recipe for innovation, which is widely touted as the lifeblood of business success in a world of increasing complexity and competition.

Throughout the world, corporations are recognising the important functions they can play in marrying education and employment.

In 2014, The Guardian reported that “economic powerhouses can attribute much of their success to their heavy investment in human capital”.

Citing the examples of Samsung’s Tech Institutes and the Honeywell Initiative for Science and Engineering, the publication suggests that companies can use their assets to close the skills gap. This builds employee loyalty and drives staff retention in a competitive market.

BILLY Elliot, SA manager at the Top Employers Institute, points out that the new generation of employees do not consider a salary alone as highly motivating. Long-term investment in talent is essential, and leadership development programmes start from the bottom.

The kind of education they are investing in needs to be carefully considered, with a determined focus on “job readiness”, says David Taylor, head of the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

The institute has just launched a new master of commerce degree, developed after several years of collaboration with industry.

Taylor says that specialised masters’ programmes that are structured as apprenticeships, and are co-ordinated by both industry and universities, should become “a matter of course”, if SA wants to get to make headway in bridging critical skills shortages.

It is just as important to invest in functional internships for artisans, particularly in the building trade. SA has a shortage of tradespeople and artisans, and the average artisan is bordering on retirement age.

Schools can also play an important guiding role in helping young people decide which avenue they want to pursue after matric.

The focus should also be on job readiness, argues Nicky Sheridan, CEO of Christel House, which uses a holistic approach to service pupils from severely financially disadvantaged backgrounds.

Its focus on creating job-ready graduates includes driving the development of soft skills to increase employability, and running an entrepreneurship programme with the assistance of corporate donors, such as Dell and MTN.

Beyond the school walls, there is also much that business — in partnership with local government — can do to create enabling environments that will prepare pupils to become economically active citizens.

THE Western Cape government’s Smart Schools project — a R1.2bn initiative that will link schools through a high-speed, real-time wide area network, the provision of local area networks, and the building and upgrading of computer laboratories — is a good example.

With any luck, this will provide school leavers with facilities that will drive greater computer literacy and enable easier job applications and communications.

If we are to create a country that our youth can be excited to be part of, a realistic outlook is essential. We will need more education options, more access to the right kind of education or training, more funding opportunities, and more support for young people to develop the right skills to become economically active.

The challenge is immense and, at this stage, taxpayers cannot continue to foot the bill on their own.

Business has a hugely important role to play as a partner in this process — and many are already heeding the call.

They should be applauded as our collective future really does depend on turning the numbers around. Lower youth unemployment plus a lower skills gap will equal the healthier economy that we all so desperately want.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

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How to ensure a successful apprenticeship scheme

When I completed my Master’s Thesis on the impact of training – I of course considered the work of Kirkpatrick Garavan, Phillips and son while reflecting on these many models – but most illuminating were the findings that revealed the most important factors in determining maximum return.

While there were a number of important factors there was one that stood out (statistically) as being far more significant than everything else. So much more important, that it almost made every other factor irrelevant (statistically). That factor was management engagement.

In organisations where the managers were involved in selecting the right people, spent time understanding the outcomes and pre-briefing the delegate as well as de-briefing them, the results were off-the-scale. So much so that I wasn’t brave enough to quote the real return on investment, but damped it down to a mere 365 per cent ROI in 12 months.

Now this is not rocket science and good learning and development always includes these principles. I have a suspicion, however, that the world of apprenticeships has for many years largely ignored this fact, with a couple of notable exceptions. With a skills system that pumps so much money from government directly to the provider rather than making the employer contribute, line managers’ engagement can be ‘minimal’ at best. With the introduction of the government’s apprenticeship levy in 2017, no matter what the detail eventually says, let’s hope this changes. As a reminder here are some points to consider when planning your apprenticeship programme.

1) Have a clear rational business plan for taking on apprentices
Any good apprentice programme relies upon organisations (in both the public and private sectors) to have a clear understanding of why they need apprentices and what they want to achieve through these schemes. Whether the aim is to secure a future work force, or as is often the case in the manufacturing sector, to address a short-term skills gap, these objectives must be set out clearly and coherently. By doing so it is not only easier to recruit the right candidate but employers now also have a benchmark by which to evaluate the overall success of the apprenticeship scheme.

2) Strong partnership between training provider and employer
After defining a business rationale, a strong relationship must be established between the employer and the training partner. Good training providers have always advised, guided and challenged the customer’s preconceptions and expectations.

The most essential and valuable role for the training provider to tailor their content towards the employer’s specific organisational needs and values. This is no simple process; it requires a detailed and deep-seated engagement with the company’s culture, identity and long term plans.

As a judge at the recent Semta Skills Award, I was particularly impressed with Babcock’s partnership, which delivered precisely these principles. They had successfully transferred some of the disciplines associated with the military environment into the engineering and power sector, to the delight of their customers.

This joint delivery between employer and provider is a strong and proven model that will continue to be successful, whenever a training provider strives to become a training partner.

3) Select the right apprentice
While the candidate is on an apprenticeship, they are also a contracted employee, immediately placing an expectation of commitment on both the employee and the employer.

Time invested into sourcing the right candidate is crucial, in order to ensure they stick out the course and go on to have long-standing careers within the organisation. At present, many employers do not appear to put enough emphasis on their selection of apprentice candidates and this perhaps explains the recent rise in apprenticeship dropout rates, which currently stands at 31.1 per cent. By way of explanation, many of these ‘drop-outs’ may well have been placed in unsuitable roles in industries that did not cater to their skills or preferences. Put simply, they were never a good ‘fit’ for the organisation.

How can an employer or provider expect a young person with a stated interest in IT to stick out a course in retail? A clear understanding of their current motivations and goals is vital in placing candidates within the most suitable roles – it is theselection of the best-fit candidates that is the game changer. This is achieved by asking the right questions at the very beginning of the recruitment process and using this data intelligently over time.  The initial profile can then be modified with interview results, on-line assessments and other techniques that are appropriate to the role under consideration.

This is not difficult or complex; it simply requires more diligence during the process of candidate selection. If this approach were more widely adopted, then the three million apprentices that the government plans to recruit by 2020 would stand a far better chance of completing their apprenticeship delivering value to them and their employers.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. The matter of this article has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

All eyes on the EU Skills Agenda

Despite a plethora of policy initiatives, unemployment rates have only decreased slightly – at 18.8%, the youth joblessness rate is more than double that of the overall population. The situation is equally challenging for older citizens, who are more likely to suffer from long-term unemployment and are at greater risk of poverty.

Paradoxically, despite the ‘over-education’ in Europe, two million vacancies remain unfilled – particularly in STEM areas such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This has huge implications for sectors such as Big Data Analytics for example. Indeed, 40% of European employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need to grow and innovate. PwC’s Annual CEO Survey, published this year, also reveals that 72% of CEOs globally are concerned about the availability of key skills.

To make matters worse, job markets are being transformed by technology and the impact of automation on employment will only increase over time. A recent study by Deloitte showed that around 114,000 jobs in the legal sector alone are likely to become automated, and another 39% of jobs are at “high risk” of being made redundant by machines in the next two decades.

With this in mind, and with an increasingly large skills gap, creating jobs is a bigger challenge than ever for policymakers, especially as labour markets become more sophisticated.  The required skill-sets needed are now increasingly broad – employers need people with soft skills who are problem-solvers, analytical thinkers, multilingual, multicultural, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and team players.

The newly launched Skills Agenda recognises that skills development is crucial for meeting this fundamental challenge. This is not to say that Europeans are under-educated: on the contrary, the real question is what type of education we are getting, and whether it adequately prepares us for the labour market.

The skills mismatch is symptomatic of a larger and much more fundamental problem – our inability to accurately anticipate what the labour market needs and adjust our education systems accordingly. The Skills Agenda’s ‘Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills’, which aims to improve skills intelligence and address skills gaps in specific economic sectors, seeks to address these challenges. Similarly, the ‘Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition’ action point, which envisages closer collaboration between education policy makers and employers to agree on which digitals skills are needed and how to develop them, is a crucial piece in the policymaking jigsaw.

The Commission should also be applauded for its clear vision on ensuring the skills of migrants and refugees are accurately profiled and enhanced so Europe can fully harness their potential.  Studies, like the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor UK report, show that migrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs than those born locally.

But if the Skills Agenda is to maximise its impact then we also need smarter education – an approach that addresses technical skill gaps, fosters closer collaboration with the private sector, is more hands-on in nature and one that promotes inter-generational exchange, outside the traditional classroom. Different demographic groups possess different skills-sets and all age groups benefit from a transfer of know-how, experience and ideas, thus narrowing the skills gap. Smart education should also focus on promoting an entrepreneurial culture to ensure that both young and old equally have the opportunity to remain economically active whatever the future holds.

Regardless of which side of the political divide one is on, labour market mobility is today a reality and should therefore also be an important part of the Agenda, as some labour markets may have a surplus of some skills but a shortage of others. Policy-makers and education systems therefore have a ‘’duty of care’’ to prepare the next generation to embrace the opportunities offered by the European Single Market and the right to the freedom of movement. That includes focusing on foreign language skills, overseas traineeship programs and the development of soft skills – flexibility, multiculturalism, team spirit and open-mindedness.

Employers will certainly become more demanding and so should we of ourselves. Being prepared is critical to a successful future. The Skills Agenda is a welcome first step in that direction. Its true value, however, will be evaluated based on its ability to deliver real change.

(Disclaimer: This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.)

91% of Indians feel their skills would become obsolete in next five years: Study

Study by City & Guilds Group-Skills Confidence Report

India was the only market in a four-nation study where a majority of employees were found to be concerned about the impact of technology on their jobs in the future. As much as 79% of business leaders and 63% of other employees surveyed in the country believed automation and artificial intelligence could replace a number of current jobs.

The findings were captured in global skill development firm City & Guilds Group’s first Skills Confidence Report. The study covered 8,000 employees in the UK, us, South Africa and India. The India-specific research, conducted by Census wide in May 2016, had 2,055 respondents, including 272 CEOs or senior leaders, 532 middle managers and 1,251 general employees.

The study measured the confidence levels of the working population with reference to their skills and jobs today. It also examined the role of vocational training and skill development and its impact on their professional performances. According to the findings, 91% of Indian respondents felt that their skills would become obsolete in the next five years.

The skill gaps in Indian organisations were the most among the four nations covered. As much as 88% of Indian respondents identified skill gaps in their organisation, compared with 67% in the UK, 68% in the US and 82% in South Africa. The country’s workforce is, however, confident in the government’s skills initiatives — 87% respondents believed India has the right skills to ensure that the ‘Make in India’ initiative is a success.

The top-5 skills that Indian employees consider most important for prospects in five years’ time are leadership skills (79%), management skills (72%), technical skills related to current job role (64%), communication skills (62%) and IT skills (59%), the report found. Only 14% of employees think their company’s learning and development initiatives are aligned to business goals.

However, 72% of middle managers in India receive training, compared with just 39% of the UK’s and 45% in the US. About 80% of Indian respondents were confident that they have the skills required to work abroad, but 40% were worried about the effects of ‘brain drain’. India has the highest number of senior leaders who believe that their skills are fully utilised by their company.

According to the report, skill gaps can impact an organisation in various ways. About 40% think skill gaps reduce productivity, and 35% say it means organisations waste time and lack strong leadership. One third of senior leaders feel that companies with less-skilled workforce lose out to competitors.

As much as 96% in India agree there is a need for formal skills training and most (79%) prefer learning on the job — 66% rate online and e-learning, and 54% prefer learning from colleagues. The emphasis on the need for skill development is not only identified in India but globally as well. About 46% of Indians and 45% of South African respondents believe that working in a multinational environment is a key requirement for their future career, visa-vis 21% in the UK and 25% in the US.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. This matter of this article has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

स्किल ओरिएंटेड कोर्स: निखरेगा हुनर तो बढ़ेंगे आगे

अब हर नौकरीपेशा से शुरुआती स्तर पर ही यह उम्मीद की जाती है कि उसे संबंधित नौकरी की सभी बारीकियां पता हों। कुछ कंपनियां बाकायदा ट्रेनिंग देकर या वर्कशॉप आयोजित कर उन्हें कुछ प्रमुख स्किल्स से अवगत कराती हैं। खुद को आगे बढ़ाने के लिए जरूरी स्किल्स के बारे में बता रही हैं नमिता सिंह

केली ग्लोबल वर्कफोर्स सर्विसेज द्वारा प्रकाशित एक रिपोर्ट के अनुसार, ज्यादातर भारतीय अपनी नौकरी से खुश नहीं हैं। वे अपने करियर की संभावनाओं को लेकर अंदर ही अंदर बेचैन रहते हैं। गांव-कस्बों में जागरूकता के अभाव में भी लोग नए-नए विकल्प या अनुभवों से वंचित हो जाते हैं। इस कमी के चलते वे बार-बार उस नौकरी को कोसते नजर आते हैं या उसे बदलने को आतुर दिखते हैं।

करियर काउंसलर गीतांजलि कुमार का कहना है, ‘जॉब मार्केट में खुद को बनाए रखना या सरपट दौड़ते रहना किसी चुनौती से कम नहीं है। दिनोंदिन बदलती जा रही तकनीक और संसाधनों के चलते कर्मचारियों पर उन सबसे अपडेट रहने का जबरदस्त दबाव रहता है। भारत में इस तरह का हुनर सीखने का चलन तेजी से बढ़ा है।’

युवाओं के लिए स्किल्स
बड़े शहरों में छात्र शुरू से ही अपनी पसंद को ध्यान में रखते हुए कई तरह के स्किल सीखते हैं, जबकि गांव-कस्बों के युवाओं को इसमें नाकामी हासिल होती है। नतीजा, उन्हें नौकरी में कदम-कदम पर दिक्कत आती है। दिल्ली इंस्टीट्यूट ऑफ फायर इंजीनियरिंग के चेयरमैन वी.के. गर्ग का कहना है, ‘ज्यादातर ग्रामीण छात्र परंपरागत कोर्स कर बड़े शहरों में नौकरी तलाशने जाते हैं। लैंग्वेज, कम्युनिकेशन, पे्रजेंटेशन, कम्प्यूटर, पर्सनेलिटी आदि कई ऐसे महत्वपूर्ण बिन्दु हैं, जिनमें उन्हें परेशानी आती है, क्योंकि ये स्किल्स उनकी प्राथमिकता में शामिल ही नहीं होते। ऐसा नहीं है कि कस्बाई अथवा हिन्दी भाषी छात्र क्षमता एवं योग्यता में किसी से कम होते हैं, लेकिन जहां बात मल्टी स्किल की आती है, वहां वे पिछली पंक्ति में खड़े नजर आते हैं।’

विश्वविद्यालयों ने बढ़ाया हाथ
देश के कई प्रमुख विश्वविद्यालयों ने अपने यहां स्किल डेवलपमेंट प्रोग्राम शुरू किए हैं। ये कोर्स विभिन्न क्षेत्रों से संबंधित हैं, जैसे- आईटी, टेलीकॉम, हेल्थकेयर, मीडिया एंड इंटरटेनमेंट, फाइनेंस, टूरिज्म व बैंकिंग, ऑटोमोटिव आदि। इन विश्वविद्यालयों का दावा है कि इस तरह के कोर्स करने के बाद करीब 70 प्रतिशत युवाओं को आसानी से जॉब मिल जाएगी।

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. This matter of this article has been copied from an e-news portal by skillreporter.com.)

Right skills, for the right job: a new Skills Agenda

Technological progress and globalisation are changing ways of living, learning, working and doing business across the globe. Europe’s future competitiveness and successful growth depend on the skills of people at work.

But Europe is facing a skills challenge. One in five European adults struggle with reading and writing, and even more have poor numeracy skills. Two in five are digitally illiterate. These people are at high risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.

On the other hand, far too many people are stuck in a job that doesn’t match their talent. One in three graduates are in jobs which do not require a university degree.

Despite unemployment rates which in many countries remain far too high,  almost half of the employers say they can’t find workers with the right skills.

We simply cannot afford that the talent of so many people in Europe goes to waste. That’s why we are presenting a New Skills Agenda for Europe, delivering skills for better jobs.

Actions will focus on developing basic and higher skills, making it easier to use and understand qualifications – including those learnt outside the school room, and providing better and timelier information on the skills needed by employers now and in the future.

Here are three examples of what we want to achieve. First, improve skills levels. We should make sure that everyone has the literacy, numeracy and digital skills they need for the labour market and for life. Initial education and training systems have a big part to play, but “second chance pathways” are needed for those who fall through the net.

In this context, the Agenda will contain a Skills Guarantee for Member States to put in place flexible pathways allowing everyone to improve their basic skills levels and open the path to learning higher skills. This will be an important basis to boost the job and life chances of millions of Europeans and making sure our economy can grow and thrive.

Second, make sure that Vocational Education and Training becomes a ‘first choice’ and not a ‘second option’ for people and that it opens up smooth and effective pathways to the labour market or further education. And foster work based learning to develop high-level skills, including in cutting edge sectors that can drive innovation and growth in Europe.

Third, make sure that people’s talent can be used, ensuring that their skills are visible and understood across economic sectors and countries in Europe. To do so, we need to reinforce cooperation on comparing qualifications within the EU but also beyond our borders. This would also help the skills of migrants and asylum seekers be put to use, and attract highly qualified professionals from abroad.

Together, we can address the skills challenge and help people who want to go further, succeed, use their potential and change their lives for the better.

We owe it to the young graduate stuck in a low-skilled job, to the 50 year old engineer whose skills are being overtaken by new technologies, to the young man whose poor reading and writing stops him from moving up the jobs ladder. By working together, with Member States, regional and local communities, social partners, education partners and companies – we can make a difference.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.)

Apprentice 1,000: Ten famous names who started their careers as apprentices

Apprenticeship not glamorous enough for you? We thought we would list some famous names whose careers began with just such an opportunity.

How many of them stayed in the same trade? That’s not the point. An apprenticeship can teach you so much more than ‘just’ a trade – the skills they can give you at every level – right through to senior management level – can change your life. What’s more, they can change the business you are part of.

Why are we so interested? Because this is the year of the Gloucester Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo’s Apprentice 1,000 campaign in which we are seeking to encourage and then promote the creation of 1,000 apprenticeships county-wide during 2016.

Few people in the UK will have been able to pass through life so far without knowing the name Sir Alex Ferguson. Forever synonymous with Manchester United the former football player then successful manager got his start in life as an apprentice tool worker on a shipyard whilst in Glasgow.

British fashion designer Alexander McQueen – known world-wide – started his career as an apprentice tailor on Savile Row. He went on to dress such iconic figures as Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and pop star Madonna.

Still in the world of fashion, despite any financial security which might have been afforded her courtesy of such famous father of Beatles fame, Paul, designer Stella McCartney also served an apprenticeship with a Saville Row tailor when she was a fashion student.

It was this grounding – drawing up patterns to even taking up trouser hems, which eventually led her to open her own boutique in London. It didn’t stop there. She rose through the ranks to become fashion royalty and a global brand in her own right.

Celebrity chefs and major business success stories Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay both started their careers with apprentices in the catering industry, going on open up their own restaurants, front TV shows and see their empires spread world-wide.

Honouring his roots, Mr Ramsay offers apprenticeship programmes at his restaurants to this day.

Actor par excellence, Sir Ian McKellen – he of Lord of the Rings and X-Men fame (the list is substantial) undertook and completed a three-year apprenticeship at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Apparently it is here he learned the foundations of the craft that would go on to make him one of the celebrated actors in British history.

Engineering more up your street? Team principal for some of the world’s top Formula One teams, Ross Brawn, started out as an apprentice mechanical engineer for the UK atomic energy authority.

Known to some only as a face off the Sir Alan Sugar-fronted television hits The Apprentice, Karen Brady (Baroness Brady to you and I) began her career as a trainee at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.

From there she became an advertising account executive at London Broadcasting Company. Her path crossed publisher David Sullivan and he offered her a job with Sport Newspapers. She became a director at the age of just 20.

To a younger generation he may just be the butler in the most recent Bat Man films, but one Maurice Micklewhite – otherwise knowns as Michael Caine – struggled to pay for acting lessons and so became a plumber’s apprentice. Mr Caine has been nominated for an Oscar in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s.

Known through television as the face of The Restoration Man and Amazing Spaces, George Clarke an apprentice architect – offered an apprenticeship aged just 16 years old.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.)

China’s Skill Development Imperatives For Leadership In The Intelligent Big-Data Economy

The world has entered the era of the fifth productive economy. The intelligent big-data economy (IBE). An economy in which the four previous productive sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, services and non-intelligent software services, are simultaneously being disrupted by the power of real-time massively-connected big-data intelligence (RMBI).

Where previously, the value of the productive output of each economy was in the core product or service (food, products,services, computing), in the intelligent big-data economy (IBE) the production value will be in the real-time, massively-connected, big-data intelligence (RMBI) embedded in the product or service:
– A food whose molecular structure adjusts itself to its environment or to a person’s metabolism
– A manufactured product which responds to the environment and its user
– A service that adapts to its environment and user
– A software program that learns and adapts to its environment and user

Data is the new “crude oil”. RMBI will be like the “fractional distillation oil refinery”, producing an ever evolving stream of valuable data-enabled distillate products and services, which in turn can be further blended into even more complex and valuable composite products, services and systems. A whole new, multi-layered downstream IBE industry will evolve over time.

Increasingly, when one pays 10 RMB for a product or service, we will be paying more and more of the 10 RMB for the real-time massively-connected big data intelligence (RMBI) and less and less for the core product or service. Companies that produce products and services without embedded RMBI will die, companies with more RMBI in their products and services will thrive. A rapidly growing new intelligent big-data economy (IBE) will be created around the design, embedding, operating and exploitation of this intelligence. The GDP growth of a country will depend on the growth of this real-time connected big-data intelligence (RMBI) production industry.

Countries that have most of their GDP still in the agricultural, commodity, base manufacturing or non-intelligent software production sectors will see lower and even negative growth; while countries that have a larger and larger share of the intelligent big-data economy (IBE) in their GDP, will see their growth rates as well as productivity (per capita GDP) increase. The higher the current GDP per capita of a country the more will this trend hold true.

The implications of this transformation on individuals and on society will also be profound and disruptive. How individuals think, learn and work will undergo profound change. How people work in teams and in organizations will also change. Wider social structures and dynamics will change. The space between humans, technology, systems and things will blur, and blend into an almost a seamless continuum. Connectedness will become the central paradigm for evolution, innovation and growth of individuals, teams, organizations and society.

What does this mean for China? By leveraging abundant low cost labour and focusing on the export-oriented manufacturing sector, China became the manufacturing hub of the world and grew its GDP for 4 decades at an unprecedented rate. This lifted hundreds of millions of its citizens out of poverty and into an upwardly mobile aspirational middle class, and the country into a middle income economy, in what can only be termed as the biggest & fastest economic development transformation the world has ever seen. It has also spurred the creation of a burgeoning services economy and e-commerce economy to cater to the rapidly growing consumption capacity of the new middle classes.

However, the recipe of success for the past 40 years cannot work for the next 40. China no longer has the labour cost advantage required to remain the low cost manufacturing hub of the world. The foundational base of China’s past success is no longer its core strategic advantage. In fact, it is already becoming a liability. Hundreds of traditional manufacturing firms are closing and laying off labour due to the inability to compete with lower cost manufacturing in lower income countries on the one hand, and much more efficient new age manufacturing on the other.

While the services sector and e-commerce sector continues to provide GDP growth, and the manufacturing sector is going through a dramatic modernization drive, there is a critical need for a new and substantive source of GDP growth. The financial services sector was seen as one option, and has indeed grown significantly over the last 15 years. However, there is an inherent danger in growth in this sector not reflecting real growth in the productive sectors of the economy, leading to a bubble building up that could be dis-proportionately sized compared to the real productive GDP. In recent times, this issue has been seen as a significant concern. High growth of a financial sector not supported by comparable growth of a real sector is simply not sustainable.

It is therefore imperative that China sharply focuses on, seriously prepares for, zealously develops, rapidly grows and takes the unassailable leadership position in the next large emerging economic sector that is visible today, which is the intelligent big-data economy (IBE). This will ensure China’s continued fast growth towards developed high income country status, and help it become the economical as well as technological powerhouse of the world for the next 100 years.

It will also enable Chinese society to evolve towards the most advanced and mature societal model in the world – based on the highest standards of citizen inclusiveness, universal access to basic human services, fair and balanced economic distribution, empathetic human connectedness, and resultant gross national happiness.

The key components that will power the development of the IBE are:-
– High-performance “sensors” for real-time data capture from any kind of data emitter – be it a man-made system, a person, a man-made thing, or the natural environment
– Massive high-performance data storage capacity
– Massive high performance data transportation capacity
– Massive high performance data processing capacity
– Increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning models and systems
And most importantly….
– Skilled people who can envision, design, manufacture, operate, service and support the above

Of these, the ultimate competitive advantage of a country will be determined by the speed at which it develops the right range, quality and quantity of skills in its workforce, as required to power a world leading growth rate in the new IBE economy.

The skill development task is a mammoth, multi-layered, multi-dimensional and multi-generational one.
– Mammoth because it needs to address the entire population
– Multi-layered because there are multiple levels of skills that need to be addressed
– Multi-dimensional because the range of skills span across many disciplines and subject domains
– Multi-generational because there will need to be a simultaneous but differential focus on skill development across age demographic cohorts

Multi-layer

The new IBE will be made up of a five layered pyramid workforce-based industry.
– A digital innovator layer
– A digital developer layer
– A digital shaper layer
– A digital worker layer
– A digital citizen layer

Digital Innovators (DI) are the scientists and innovators who work in basic and applied R&D to create a continuous stream of new RMBI based products and services. The skills they require will be a very high end set of mathematical as well as technological skills across various application domains, as well as product life cycle management skills to be able to invent many new RMBI products and services and take them to commercialization. They will also require high end collaborative creative skills, as most path-breaking innovation will require an intense level of cross disciplinary collaboration.

Digital Developers (DD) are the high skilled workforce who will support Digital Creators to help them build the RMBI products and services; as well as to implement, maintain, modify, enhance and operate the same. The skills they require will be around product manufacturing and software development methodologies and technologies; as well as implementation, services and support of these core product or software components.

Digital Shapers (DS) are the leaders and managers in government, institutions and businesses, who need to be able to envision the potential future for their organizations, business units, functions and departments, and be capable of driving the programs of innovation and change to transform their organizations and business models through the continuous leveraging of newer and more complex and sophisticated RMBI products and services. They would need training to understand the potential of the new RMBI possibilities, and requisite ability to lead and chart a course of digital transformation for their organizations. They would also need new leadership, managerial and interpersonal skills for the millennial and post-millennial world.

Digital Workers (DW) are the rest of the work force in the organizations and businesses in the IBE economy. They would need relevant new basic functional literacy skills to operate effectively in the new digitally transformed organizations in the IBE economy.

Digital Citizens (DC) refer to the rest of society across all age groups, who will need the requisite basic digital literacy skills to be a full active member of the new IBE enabled society.

Multi-dimensional
The skills needed for workers at all four levels in the new IBE world, will be multi-dimensional and cross-disciplinary, in particular for DI’s, DD’s and DS’s. The essence of RMBI is extracting intelligence from the confluence of environmental and contextual data from a variety of sources. This would imply need for skills across subjects and disciplines, rather than only narrow skills in one subject or discipline. A range of skills would be required in three broad areas
• Core Technical skills (e.g. IoT, Machine Learning, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Core Digital Software skills, etc.)
• Industry Domain skills (e.g. Manufacturing, Healthcare, Education, Government, etc.)
• People & Interpersonal skills (Teamwork, Collaboration, Creativity, Design Thinking, etc.)

Multi-generational
The skill development agenda will need to have a four-pronged structure, if it is to truly transform China from today’s economy and society, into a mature IBE economy and society.
1. A K-12 education agenda
2. A university & professional skills agenda
3. An existing workforce retraining agenda
4. An agenda for general purpose IBE literacy for everyone else

While the initial focus would rightfully be on immediate retraining and producing immediate fresh supply into the new IBE workforce, it is critical that a serious study and appropriate revamp of the entire K-12 educational model, curriculum and teaching-learning methodology be undertaken to ensure that entire cohorts of the future enter the industry with a high generational change impact on powering the continued rapid innovation, change and growth of the IBE economy. Similarly, the entire University education model, curriculum and methodology must be studied and changed suitably, to remain relevant to the needs of the rapidly changing IBE economy.

In summary, China has the opportunity through a planned transformation agenda, to reach full development status as an economy and society, by ensuring it takes a leadership position in the emerging intelligent big-data economy (IBE). The most critical factor to ensure success is in having the right nation-wide skill development strategy.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author. This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.)

More Apprenticeships means more good jobs and real skills

A Shorten Labor Government will boost apprenticeships across the country, giving more Australians the opportunity to gain real skills and a good job. Labor will do this by ensuring a proportion of the jobs on major federally funded-projects are delivered as apprenticeships. We will start with a target of seeing one in 10 jobs on Labor’s priority infrastructure projects filled by Australian apprentices. This will create 2,600 new apprenticeship places for young workers seeking a job and real skills.

In government, we will also work with the States and Territories and industry to develop procurement rules for apprentices that will apply to all infrastructure, construction and defence projects with capital expenditure over $10 million. This will create tens of thousands more apprenticeship places in the years to come. The number of Australians in training for an apprenticeship is now at its lowest level since 2001. The Abbott-Turnbull Government has cut over $2.5 billion from skills and training programs, and has seen apprentice numbers fall by more than 120,000 since the last election. Labor’s plan will ensure more Australians benefit from good jobs and training, and give more businesses access to the skilled workers they need to grow and innovate.

To help connect potential apprentices with jobs and training, and ensure they gain high quality skills, Labor will also establish an Apprenticeships Connect search portal and appoint a dedicated Apprentice Advocate. Similar to the UK Government’s Find an Apprenticeship service, the portal will let young people who are considering doing an apprenticeship search for training and job opportunities near them and connect with Australian Apprenticeship Support Network Providers who can help them get signed up.

We will also establish a dedicated Apprentice Advocate to work on important issues like quality of training, portable skills, retention and completion rates for apprentices across the country. Labor backs apprenticeships because they give people a job to support themselves while they gain valuable skills – two things every Australian should have access to. We also understand that quality trades training will be central to building up the skilled workforce Australia needs to continue growing and innovating as a country.

Our plan for apprentices comes on top of our commitment to ridding the VET sector of dodgy operators and guaranteeing the future of TAFE as our central public provider. Only Labor backs apprentices and vocational training, because we believe every Australian should have the chance to gain real skills and a good job.

(This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.) 

Skills, not degrees, take you far

A year ago, I met a mechanical engineer who had more interest in business analytics than mechanics. He obviously did not have the option of throwing away four years of study and starting afresh. Therefore, I advised him to take an online course on analytics along with his job. He did really well in the certification, and, as it turned out, landed a job at one of the biggest corporate houses. The skills versus degrees dilemma happens all over the world. I have many friends in Canada as well who have got degrees that did not benefit them because they did not have the skills. As such, they are working in different fields.

While education is important, it does not guarantee us a job in our chosen field. One learns a lot of theories during foundational education, but applying them to practical work requires skills which, for the most part, are not taught as part of the degree programme. I may not be wrong when I say that skill development is an area which is highly neglected by most of the students, and in fact, their institutions. The emphasis on vocational education seems to be lacking when it is one of the most important areas to focus on and will help prepare the youth for jobs.

The psychology behind this is that skills satisfy a deeper curiosity. The feeling you get when you satisfy your curiosity, having spent a lot of time and energy in trying to find an answer or a solution, is highly gratifying. Albert Einstein famously said, “I have no special talents… I am only passionately curious.” While the education system does involve a test of memory, skill-based training equips you with the analytical mindset required when you enter the workforce.

Acquire soft skills : In an interview with The New York Times, Google’s vice-president of people operations, Laszlo Bock, had mentioned that they consider GPAs and test scores as a worthless criterion for hiring. For every job, the main thing Google looks for is general cognitive ability, and not the intelligence quotient. “It’s the learning ability. It’s the ability to process on the fly. It’s the ability to pull together disparate bits of information.” Applying your mind and logic to come up with a better solution would require the right skill set.

In order to keep moving forward, one will always need to revisit their skill set and keep on reworking as per the requirements. Institutional education sets your mind on a path for ‘how to learn’, while skills development teaches you ‘how to apply’ what you have learnt. If all you know is theory, you are limiting yourself and your opportunity for career growth. In today’s time, soft skills such as language and communication skills, personality development skills, management skills and behavioral skills are some of the essential skills required while applying for a job. Your resume boasting your degrees might get you an interview, but it is your skills that will help you get the job.

According to a report by Talent Sprint in 2014, only 27 per cent of the 7,50,00,000 fresh graduates would be employable by 2020. If we go by that number, then only 27 per cent of the country’s graduates are employable, which is a huge waste of resources and a major concern for the increase in unemployment. The talent of these individuals needs to be channelized to meet the demands of the job market and raise the percentage to a higher level. Of late, I’ve noticed that the social media pages of many corporate have postings similar to “Follow us and be ‘in the know’ of a job opportunity that matches your skill set.”

The Indian government has realized that it is a pressing issue and has set aside a huge sum of resources for skill development in the Union Budget 2016.

Globalization has dug out the necessity for highly skilled workforce in both the developing and developed nations as manpower is the biggest enabler of growth of any economy.

There will never be a dearth of opportunities, but there is always a dearth of talent. Employ-ability of the youth is therefore very vital and as the government pointed out, this crisis of skill development should instead be transformed into an opportunity for the growth of the economy. Value addition needs to be provided to everyone, from the jobless, to college and school dropouts, to the educated ones who need to refurbish their skills to move ahead in their respective careers.

When choosing the right course in order to accelerate one’s career in the right direction, the students need to be cautious on a few points before going for their skill training. For instance, they need to check the placement track record of a particular skill centre and the credibility of the content partners.

Given the government’s thrust towards this initiative, it is likely that some of these institutions have simply come up because of the government’s easy allocation of funds to finance such centres.

With the government focusing on providing skills to the masses, the digitization of the country being on its way and the ever-growing job economy, there has never been a better opportunity for Indians to get access to ‘whichever, wherever, whenever’ education. Everyone should retain their sense of wonder and awe and keep learning throughout their lives. Working toward enhancing your personality should become an automatic part of you. -By CEO, School of Skills

(This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.) 

जमीन पर नहीं दिखता हुनर विकास जैसे कार्यक्रमों का खास असर

क्या आपकोयाद है कि 2005 में मोतिहारी के बुजुर्ग मोहम्मद सईदुल्लाह ने अंतरराष्ट्रीय स्तर पर शोहरत बटोरी थी। उनके हुनर को इतनी ख्याति मिली थी कि तत्कालीन राष्ट्रपति अब्दुल कलाम ने ‘नेशनल इनोवेशन फाउंडेशन’ की तरफ़ से उन्हें ‘लाइफ़ टाइम अचीवमेंट’ से नवाज़ा था। इतना नहीं वॉल स्ट्रीट जरनल’ का ‘एशियन इनोवेशन अवार्ड’ भी उन्हें मिला। सईदुल्लाह ने ऐसी साकिल इजाद की थी जो पानी पर चलाई जा सके। महज तीन वर्ष बाद 2008 में खबर आयी कि सईदुल्लाह अपने पुरस्कारों को लौटाना चाहते हैं। वह परिवार के पेट के लिए अपना घर तक बेचने पर मजबूर हैं। तब उनका हुनर उनके किसी काम सका। उसके बाद से सईदुल्लाह की कोई खबर नहीं है। यह वही समय था जब नीतीश सरकार ने अल्पसंख्यक बच्चियों के लिए ‘हुनर’ और ‘औजार’ कार्यक्रम शुरू किए थे। मकसद यह था कि बच्चियों को हुनरमंद बना देना और अपने पैरों पर खड़ा करना। सरकार का हुनर कार्यक्रम दो-तीन सालों में काफी लोकप्रिय हो गया। फिर इसे अल्पसंख्यक समुदाय के साथ दलित समुदाय से भी जोड़ा गया। बाद में कार्यक्रम पर जोर नहीं रहा। 2014 में मोदी सरकार ने भी हुनर के विकास पर खासा जोर दिया। एक आम युवा को इससे बहुत मतलब नहीं कि स्किल डेवलपमेंट किस सरकार की पहल है, बल्कि उसे सिर्फ इस बात से मतलब है कि उसे रोजगार मिले।

स्किल डेवलपमेंट जैसे कार्यक्रम का अधिकतम लाभ बिहार के पेशेवर बिरादरियों को सबसे ज्यादा मिल सकता है। हुनर आधारित कम लागत के तकनीकी कारोबार जैसे सिलाई, वेल्डिंग, फिटर, पलम्बरिंग समेत दर्जनों कारोबार का हुनर इन युवाओं में तो है पर इनके इन हुनर को संस्थानिक मान्यता देने और आर्थिक सहायता दे कर एक क्रांतिकारी बदलाव लाया जा सकता है। हमारे देश में कई कार्यक्रम नौकरशाही के मकड़जाल में उलझ कर दम तोड़ देते हैं। रही- सही कसर राजनीति की भेंट चढ़ जाती है। एक साल पहले केंद्रीय मंत्री नजमा हेपतुल्लाह ने पटना में इस कार्यक्रम की शुरुआत की थी। अगर हुनर से जुड़े कार्यक्रमों में राजनीतिक दखलअंदाजी के बजाये इसे जनोन्मुखी बनाने पर बल दिया जाये तो समाज से हजारों सईदुल्लाह निकल कर सामने आएंगे और समाज निर्माण में बहुमूल्य योगदान कर सकेंगे।

(This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.) 

The Private Sector’s Commitment to the National Skill Development Programme is Shaky

In India until the middle of the 2000’s, employers were hardly interested in training within their own enterprises, let alone the system outside their enterprises. However, rapid GDP growth during those years led to a serious shortage of skilled staff. The government of India began to respond. For the first time in the history of India the 11th Five Year Plan (2007 to 2012) included a chapter on skill development, as did the 12th Plan. But the government-and-supply-driven system was not going to change overnight.

The private sector has remained resistant to contributing significantly to skill development, unless they are receiving funding from government. The number of private industrial training institutes (ITIs) did grow from under 2,000 in 2007 to 10,000 in 2014, but the Ministry of Labour – which was responsible for them – did not have the capacity to regulate them. Nor does the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship have the capacity to regulate for quality of training.

The government did create a National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in 2010. But the so-called public-private partnership that NSDC was intended to be (with 49% shares being contributed by the government of India, and 51% shareholding from ASSOCHAM, CII and FICCI) fizzled out early. NSDC has remained almost entirely government-funded. There might have been rapid growth of NSDC-funded vocational training private providers (VTPs), but these VTPs offer, at best, courses that last four months (maximum length), which is hardly sufficient to equip fresh youngsters with skills that can make them employable.

Government and supply-driven systems of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) tend to fail, while demand and employer-driven systems are more likely to succeed. For half a century after independence, India hardly had a skill development (SD) system in place. Vocational education was practically non-existent until the mid 1980s at school level. The ITIs that came into existence in early 1960’s hardly grew in number until 2007 and there were barely 250,000 odd apprentices in the formal economy. Only 2% of the workforce had received formal vocational training by 2004-5. The formal TVET system was heavily driven by the government.

Barely 16% of Indian companies were providing enterprise-based training in 2007 according to World Bank data. Indian companies had been free riders on the education system. The shortage of skilled personnel has raised input costs for them, so that more of them are now providing in firm training (36% in 2014). However this is mainly confined to the larger firms that can afford to invest in the infrastructure and trained human resources required to provide such training. The smaller and medium enterprises are still struggling without skills.

Given the limited progress since 2007, the number needing TVET is, we have estimated, at least 20 million per year, but the system is barely churning out 5 million per year. The number to be trained is nowhere as high as the previous government policy believed (500 million between 2012 and 2022, as stated in the National Skills Policy 2009). Nor is the number even as high as 400 million (by 2025), as the current government has stated in the National Skills Policy, 2015. Nor is the number joining the labour force (for whom employment has to be found)  anywhere close to the 12 million per annum that is repeated ad nauseum by policy-makers, industry and the media; it is no more than 7 million per annum.

But the challenge is stupendous in any case. Without employer involvement the target can never be met. But involvement has to go well beyond the adoption of ITIs by CII and FICCI. It has to take many other forms  and very urgently.

First, secondary schools, ITIs and private Vocational Training Providers (VTPs) cannot expand capacity because they are short of industry-ready teachers/trainers. The MOSD is planning to take on retirees from industry and retired army personnel as trainers – a good first move but it has to go well beyond this action. Industry help must also reach the 21 central government ministries offering vocational training which also need trainers. In addition, about 2,992 secondary schools were approved (by March 2016) to offer vocational courses from class nine in government and CBSE schools in the last two years, who also need instructors, as do the ITIs and polytechnics. Industry and employers have to offer their staff as instructors to all of them. However such instructors have to receive pedagogical training possible in the National Institutes of Technical Teacher Training and Research (NITTTRs).

A second reason for poor quality TVET is that trainees receive almost no practical training. No wonder industries complain that trainees have to be trained all over again.  Sector Skills Councils (SSCs, incubated by the National Skill Development Corporation), CII and FICCI have to offer to arrange this practical training for schools, ITIs and polytechnic. This should be a part of the deliverables of SSCs and industry associations, which chambers of industry should encourage.

A third reason the poor quality of training is that youth graduating from vocational schools, ITIs or polytechnics have no understanding of a work environment. They have never experienced an internship while in the TVET system. Employers need to arrange internships through the SSCs, CII, Assocham and FICCI. This is also not part of the deliverables of SSCs or industry associations, which also chambers should encourage.

Fourthly, to ensure competency-based training, SSCs are currently responsible for preparing National Occupation Standards (NOS), which are a requirement of the National Skills Qualification Framework, but a NOS is not a curriculum. This requires a competency-based industry-ready curriculum. Employers need to get involved in the preparation of such curriculum. The Central Institute of Vocational Education of NCERT in Bhopal is trying hard with limited staff to prepare the curriculum for secondary schools but it needs help from industry. Similar help is needed by NITTTRs for polytechnics and the Advanced Training Institutes for ITIs. But this is also currently not part of the deliverables of SSCs and of industry associations.

Finally, industry needs to get directly involved in the assessment of trainees and students of vocational education, which should be a deliverable for SSCs and industry associations, which industry chambers should facilitate on a much larger scale than currently happening. But assessors themselves must be trained to be assessors, by industry and educators.

India cannot duplicate the dual educational system of Germany (which is a reason that Germany is a manufacturing giant), but we should certainly replicate the duality principle. This principle theory plus practical training underlies the SD systems in countries that have demonstrated success. None of the 21 line ministries of the central government that fund training will produce industry-ready trainees without these five principles being adopted by industry and employers – in other words by ASSOCHAM, FICCI and CII, who were supposed to be co-financiers of the NSDC supported SSCs in the original scheme of things.

(This article has not been edited by skillreporter.com and has been copied from an e-news portal.)