Tripura, a pioneer in skill development mission, targets to transform lives of 1.12 youth by next fiscal year

Recognizing the need for skill development and entrepreneurship efforts across the state, the Left Front government of Tripura has come out with a separate directorate of skill development which aims to co-ordinate with all skill development efforts, removal of disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower, building of new skills, up gradation of skills, and encouraging entrepreneurship.

Headed by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, the skill development programme was formally launched recently with the target to develop the skill and creation of employment of some 1.12 lakh youth of the state in various sectors by the next fiscal. Launching the programme, Sarkar said, “Despite pressure from the Centre, we have decided to keep open the door for government jobs and recruitment. But for those whom we fail to give joy or those who are not running behind government job, we have asked for skill development so that they can learn something to earn a livelihood. This has been the thought of our government over the past two years and today we are just formally launching it.”

“Tripura is a pioneer in skill development mission in the country. Since September 2010, it has been functioning under the industries department. But after announcement of Skill India Mission by the Modi government, the state has set up a separate directorate,” Sarkar added.

In Tripura, skill development is just not limited for getting employment in the industrial sector. Initiatives have also been taken with equal importance for skill development among those associated with the agriculture and its allied sector so that they can not only get employment within the state but also help in increasing the productivity of the state.

“Our skill development is just not only for training the youths to get employment in the industries, skill development is equally important for agricultural activities, fishery, animal husbandry or horticulture. Some 11 sectors according to necessity of our state, we have designed skill development courses so that they can get employment within our state. Moreover, we are also going for up gradation of the existing Industrial Training Institutes (ITI’s) with latest machineries and courses and for which we have signed MoU with TATA group,” claimed S Prabhu, the first director of Directorate of Skill Development in Tripura.

Adding to him M Nagaraju, principal secretary, Industries and Commerce added, “We are going for mass skill development in traditional sectors like handloom, handicraft, rubber and tea because we already have made a place in these sectors and already more than two lakh people are already engaged it these sectors. Our focus is just not only to develop skill of new people but also develop those who already are engaged. This will help further for their socio-economic development and also of the state.” He further said that taking in consideration of the ongoing industrial recession for the past few years the Tripura government has decided for skill development of those already in the trade of various traditional sectors existing in the state like handloom, handicraft, rubber, tea, horticulture beside agriculture in order to increase production with better quality outputs and for more profit.

Unlike the traditional sectors, the Directorate of Skill Development under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana(PMKVY), along with the local training partners and support from state and Union governments, has also gone for skill up gradation and skill based training in various other sectors like hospitality, health, beautician, apparel, leather and footwear and many others industry. Under this scheme, the trainees are offered a financial reward during the training period and a government certification on successful completion of training and assessment, which help them in securing a job for a better future. Several training partners have set up training centers in the state to educate and encourage the youth to avail the scheme. Most of these training partners have classrooms cum labs set up for hand-on training.

But just imparting training is not enough in fact the training partner has to also go for placement and market linkage of products produced by any candidate after successful completion of the skill development training. On such skill development training center is the IL&FS Institute of Skill – a joint venture of National Skill Development Corporation and IL&FS, a Group Company of several nationalized banks setup in 1987 to promote infrastructure development through PPP model.

The skill developing institute has been setup in the year 2007 and since then some 1500 students have been trained in two trades – in sewing machine and in hospitality sector and also employed in their respective domains.

Students from very remote areas particularly tribal and minorities who are dropouts are being chosen for the training and after completion of their training are getting employed in places like Bangalore, Chennai and Kerala. The duration of the training is for three months and during this period the trainees are staying in hostels close to their training institute. Around 50 per cent of those who been trained here have got job outside the state and equal number employed locally in the hospitality sector since there is no industry in the garments sector. In the hospitality sectors good numbers of the trainees, whose interviews are being done through video calls, have got employment in various star category hotels like ITC and food and beverage chains such as CCD, McDonalds.

The training is building the trainees more confident and compatible to growing job market outside and exposing them to various sectors. In fact, trainers have packed with various employers in the sectors and hence there are also job assurance with handsome salary package. This is attracting a good number of the youths towards the training institute, unique of its type in the region and building the youths of the state to face challenges in the growing competitive job market and solving the unemployment problem of the state, which does not have much industry in the state.

Moreover, the employed trainees are also helping in developing the economy of the state as they are sending back their savings back to the home state Tripura. The Tripura model of skill development has been praised by National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the Ministry of Skill Development. The thrust of the Directorate of Skill Development of Tripura is the co-ordination of all skill development efforts across the state and encouraging entrepreneurship so that the youths of the state are well acquainted with the growing sectors throughout and get employment not only in the state but also outside for a bright future for themselves and as well as of the state.

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