Australia’s Education Ambassador to India and Australian cricket legend Adam Gilchrist, visited IL&FS Institute of Skills (IIS) to witness sports vocational training courses run by Sports Education Development Australia (SEDA-India) in collaboration with IL&FS Skills, the largest Skill Training and Vocational Education company of India.
He interacted with the students and ran a cricket clinic with the young enthusiasts. As the Education Ambassador, Gilchrist is in India to promote exchange of knowledge and education between the two countries. The envoy was led by Hon Andrew Robb, Prime Ministerial Special Envoy AO MP along with the Australian High Commissioner to India, Ms Harinder Sidhu.
The visit commenced with the tour of the skill development centre, IL&FS Institute of Skills (IIS) running at Okhla. Ketul Acharya, Sr. Vice-President, IL&FS Skills mentioned in his welcome address that only a very small proportion of India’s youth has undergone any formal skills training resulting in shortage of skilled workforce. Therefore skill development has become a key priority area for the country that would be essential both for economic development and to fulfil youth’s aspirations for good quality, better paying jobs and self-employment opportunities.
While releasing the first year’s success stories of the IL&FS Skills – SEDA trained outstanding Fitness Instructors, SEDA-India’s Director, Ms Rekha Dey emphasized that skilling in sports, fitness and leisure sector has to be employment linked. Since the industry is still at a very nascent stage, the sector is largely unorganized and needs standardization, nonetheless it throws immense opportunities for entrepreneurial growth.
To promote skill development in sports, two MoUs were signed on this occasion. A three years tripartite partnership agreement was signed between IL&FS Skills, SEDA-India and Life Saving Society of India (LSSI) aiming at starting various vocational training courses in water sports. Another MoU was signed extending the IL&FS skills and SEDA-India 2015-16 pilot program to five years partnership in order to provide such Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses across various IIS centres in India. Ketul added, “SEDA-India is the pioneer in delivering vocational training in sports in Australia and our first year pilot program in India has done exceptionally well. The aim is to deliver high quality curriculum to students looking for a career in sports, fitness and leisure sector.”
Adam Gilchrist, Hon Andrew Robb and the High Commissioner Ms Harinder Sidhu awarded certificates of excellence to students trained as fitness trainers under the IL&FS Skills and SEDA partnership. All these students have gained employment in Snap Fitness gyms in Delhi-NCR while a few have chosen to be young entrepreneurs. Acknowledging the role of SEDA and IIS in skills and vocational training programs, Adam Gilchrist exclaimed, “It is wonderful to see so much good work happening here. We hear about the Australia-India education programs in Australia but it’s overwhelming to see it in real. I wish the good work keeps going.”
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