Gearing up for the biggest elections in next six months, the Samajwadi Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh seems to have learnt the skills to invest in future – assuring jobs for youth in the state. No wonder, the State’s Skill Development programme is not only making headlines for grabbing certificates and wards – both nationally and Internationally – it is also the largest employment generation programme launched around the World.
Claiming it as a big success and an initiative attributing to the state’s young Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, UP Skill Development Minister Abhishek Mishra says: “We have the world’s largest skill development programme in the world…I say it with full confidence and conviction.”
Mishra was speaking at the 5th MAIL TODAY Education Conclave in New Delhi.
WILL CHANGE UP’S IMPRESSION OF A BIMARU STATE
“We have trained nearly two lakh boys and girls at 1,769 centres. 40,000 have been employed. We have bagged awards from UNESCO and as the ‘Best State’ in Skill Development category in India conferred by union minister, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, himself. We are determined to change the impression that UP is a bimaru state,” he announced.
Taking the audience through the journey of UP’s ‘Skill Development Mission, he said, “It was after our recent assembly election win that many people approached us. It routinely occurs with politicians. But when we collected their requests, we discovered that of 20,000 people, 16,000 had come with job requests. Everyone wanted a naukri.”
WHAT HAS UP ACHIEVED ON THE EDUCATION & SKILLS FRONT
“When we contacted the industry, they told us ‘humein to ladke hi nahi milte’ (we just don’t get candidates). On a scientific problem analysis, we found that the cost of private training is prohibitively high. That is when we decided to set up the UP Skill Development Mission. Remember, at that time there was no real national skill development mission or vision,” he emphasized.
A separate ministry was created with a minister in charge and a secretary.
In 30 days, 46 lakh people had registered. A programme centre was set up in five districts as a pilot project. An MoU model was created, and criteria and guidelines were framed on which companies could offer training and employment to youngsters, in partnership with UP Government. Such companies had to have a turnover of at least Rs 100 crore.
PLANS FOR A SKILLS UNIVERSITY
“Within months, we had taken on board Raymond, Maruti, G4Security, Caffe Coffee Day, and many others,” said Abhishek, “Nobody comes on sifarish (referral). I tell youngsters to just come with their documents.”
Several entrepreneurs in the audience attested to this to the minister’s delight.
UP is among the few Indian states that has procured an Overseas Manpower Recruitment License to facilitate residents to get offshore jobs, especially in the Gulf.
The state has added 70,000 more seats at Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) and plans to set up a Skill University.
GRAND PLANS AHEAD
Traditional clusters all over the state are being leveraged for training, such as carpet weaving at Bhadohi, leather industry at Kanpur and Agra, brassware at Moradabad, silk weaving at Varanasi, chikankari at Lucknow, glasswork at Firozabad, lock making at Aligarh, sports goods at Meerut etc.
“Soon, we will send students from Fragrance and Flavour Development Centre, Kannauj to Grasse in France to learn techniques in perfumery,” said Abhishek.