Skill Development is the prime element that defines India’s economic growth. It is one of the essential ingredients that decide India’s future as the country transforms into a diversified and internationally-competitive economy. Although the government spends several thousand crores every year on skill development schemes , what is needed is to improve resource utilisation and find solutions that can address the systemic and institutional bottlenecks constraining the sector.
Skill Development means developing our skill sets to add value for the organization and for our own career development. For a country like India that adds 12 million people to its workforce every year, less than 4 per cent have ever received any formal training. Our workforce readiness is one of the lowest in the world and a large chunk of existing training infrastructure is irrelevant to industry needs. Thankfully, the ruling government led by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has taken initiative to launch one of his dream projects, ‘Skill India’ in July 2015. On the occasion of the launch,
the Prime Minister said that each poor, underprivileged youth was a soldier in this war. The mission is not limited to skill; we have linked entrepreneurship to it. Over the next decade India will have a surplus manpower of 4-5 crore and emphasised the need to provide this youthful manpower with skills and ability to tackle global challenges“, he said. Although, the revised National Skill Development Policy has included advantageous programmes for the students, there are some important areas that the government needs to address.
At present, there are at least 20 different government bodies in India running skill development programmes with no synergies and considerable duplication of work. For instance, both the Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD)
created their own sector skill councils last year to identify skill development needs in the country, even as the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been setting up Sector Skill Councils since 2011. A Labour Market Information System (LMIS) that should have been one centralised resource has been developed in different forms by at least five government agencies. The presence of multiple stakeholders coupled with a lack of coordinated policies has resulted in no standardisation of procedures or outcomes.
The government first of all needs to find the unified definition for ‘skill’ before targeting to skill 500 million people by 2022. Skill development efforts today cover everything from personality development, 40-hour long “outreach and awareness programmes” conducted for farmers by the Ministry
of Agriculture, 3-6 month courses encouraged by the NSDC and the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), as well as two-year programmes in Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs).
The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) was created as the aggregator in the sector, but the duplication of roles and policy confusion has persisted. Tasks allocated to MSDE in the official gazette notification, such as “frame policies for soft skills”, “computer education”, and
“work relating to Industrial Training Institutes” are ambiguously crafted, and have large overlaps with the work allocation of existing Central ministries.
(Read the full part of this article from the October 2015 issue of Safety Messenger Magazine)