Skilling and re-skilling: adding the key focus

An informative write-up

Skilling and re-skilling: adding the key focus
Prashant Agarwal, President of Narayan Seva Sansthan is also seen in the picture.

by Prashant Agarwal
According to the ‘International Labour Organisation report’, India, with 354.4 million people aged between 15 and 29, is credited for being the World’s largest youth population. The era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, with technologies like AI, IoT, Machine Learning, digitization, and analytics, is changing the paradigm in every industry.

'Skill India Scheme' proposes to train the youth for relevant industry jobs for securing a better livelihood. Also, the Government has paid fees for training and Assessment.  However, big companies are trying to find skilled labor for the job.

Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2017-18 data indicated that around 33 % of India’s skilled youth is jobless. This presents a setback for PM Modi’s 'Skill India' and 'Make in India' schemes.
Government is trying to focus on state-level strategies for the development of state and implementation of services faster.

In the 'Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship report', India’s total workforce’s 4.69 per cent is formally skilled. Youth Skills Training is still a challenge. According to Census 2011 data, 104 million fresh entrants to the workforce will require skill training by 2022, and 298 million of the existing workforce will require additional skill training over the same period.
After Independence, the democratization of education was the step our government focused upon and took appropriate measures towards skilling the people while shaping India. 
Late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi initiated Education policy for the first time, which was promulgated by Rajiv Gandhi. Now, PM Narendra Modi brought a new education policy, making a difference and changing the landscape of the education system. This new policy does so by addressing the requirement of education awareness and creating youth-oriented jobs in India to deal with the unemployment rate. By this Policy, the government is trying to tap skill India.

Some skill courses are:

•    Hospitality Skills: The courses in hospitality teach students about working in the hospitality sector which includes hotels, restaurants etc. Students learn how to serve guests, how to treat them during their visit, cordial behavior towards guests along with how to do various tasks such as housekeeping, preparing rooms for guests, welcoming them, cooking various cuisines etc.

•    Electrical Skills: The course includes teaching about electric technology, how to work with different electrical skills in houses, buildings, public spaces etc. Students are taught about the tools used in electrical work, how to deal with emergencies, and fix electrical issues.

•    Tourism Skills: Tourism courses train students to become tourist guides, tourist hosts and start their own tourism business. The course teaches students how to develop their communication skills, how to guide tourists around a city or town, important things to keep in mind while with tourists, along with ensuring that tourists have a comfortable stay and travel experience.

•    Carpentry Skills: Carpentry courses teach students the basic skills of carpentry, different construction methods, different types of tools and machines used and how to make various types of furniture. 

In March, Tech Mahindra decided to re-skill 70% of its existing IT workforce in future-tech skills. This indicated how much we require to re-skill our workforce for handling obstacles of the future and emerging technologies. According to the NASSCOM report, 40 % of India’s total workforce requires re-skilling over the next 5 years.

•    Digital Marketing: Digital marketing has been gaining momentum in recent years as it is reaching a whole new dimension of marketing. With the world becoming more tech savvy and all jobs being done through technology, increasing reach on social media and the internet is essential for people and companies. People can easily learn digital marketing online through online courses.

•    AI Skills: Machine learning can prove to be a good course to pursue. AI can open up new opportunities and job options for people. People with jobs can also easily learn AI and enhance their knowledge and area of knowledge. AI courses can open up new job opportunities for people.

•    Language Skills: Learning new languages can make for a strong point in people’s CV. Knowledge of different languages can help people get more diverse roles than others.  Moreover, correct grammar, pronunciation etc. matter a lot when talking to people in professional space and language courses in this too.Learning different types of languages is really easy and people can learn them from various websites and apps.

•    IT Skills: In the tech savvy world, gaining additional knowledge about computers and systems is only a benefit for people. IT Skills enhance people’s knowledge and bestow them with a plethora of options for new jobs and new roles.

Over 70 per cent of the population lives in rural India and women comprise 49% of the rural workforce. Hence, it becomes imperative that they receive technical skill training, work ethics, communication skills and soft skills for the developing market. Our previous and recent government has tried the best approach to deal with this critical issue. But there’s still scope for more improvements.

(The author of the article Prashant Agarwal is the president of Narayan Seva Sansthan, a non-profit organization serving differently able and underprivileged individuals.)