[Yojana Summary] Skill Development – Initiatives, challenges and solutions

Introduction

According to the World Economic Forum’s report The Future of Jobs 2018, more than half of Indian workers will require skill development by 2022. This is to meet the talent demands of the future. Further, the proportion of the working-age population (15-59 years) is expected to be over 64 percent of the population by 2021.

Predictions are, this demographic advantage will last only by 2040. India, therefore, has a very narrow time frame to harness the demographic dividend and encourage skill development. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the time frame with India is reduced even further.

The District Skills Committees and various initiatives of the government has improved skill development in India. But to inculcate necessary skills India needs to take massive efforts to address various challenges in skill development.

About District Skill Committees

District Skill Committees (DSCs) function under the guidance of State Skill Development Missions (SSDM). These DSCs play a key role in addressing the skill gap and assessing demand at the district level.

DSC is composed of all the significant district development departmental officers. The DSCs are headed by the District Collector.

More than 700 District Skill Committees (DSC) set up across states over the last decade.

Functions of District Skill Committees
  • Planning for skill training according to demand and supply, the socio-economic profile, and availability of skill infrastructure.
  • The DSCs will also make resources available for various activities such as identifying trainees, mobilization, counseling, advocacy, etc
  • Lastly, they will also monitor and evaluate the courses and perform course corrections to achieve outcomes.
Few Government schemes aim to provide skill development

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana

  • It is the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) launched in 2015. It is implemented by National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC).
  • The objective is to enable a large number of Indian youths to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them secure a better livelihood.
  • Individuals with prior learning experience or skills will also be assessed and certified under Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). These certifications will have the grade according to the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).
  • Training and Assessment fees are completely paid by the Government.
  • Recently, the government of India has launched the third phase of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY 3.0).

Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra: 

These are the state-of-the-art Model Training Centres envisaged to create benchmark institutions. These institutions will demonstrate aspirational value for competency-based skill development training.

SANKALP:

  • The scheme focuses on the district-level training ecosystem through convergence and coordination.
  • It is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme collaborated with the World Bank.
  • It aims to implement the mandate of the National Skill Development Mission (NSDM).

STRIVE:

  • The main focus of the scheme is to improve the performance of ITIs.
  • Skills Strengthening for Industrial Value Enhancement (STRIVE) scheme is a World Bank assisted-Government of India project
  • The objective is to improve the relevance and efficiency of skills training provided through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and apprenticeships.

Other schemes

Apart from that, the government also launched few specific schemes. Such as

Challenges in skill development
  1. Lack of state government participation: State departments not permitting the district officers to undergo training. Further, in most skill development schemes, planning, and monitoring are handled by the Centre. The state governments and districts have virtually no role. This makes the entire skill development initiatives as a centralised one.
  2. Traditionally, skills in India, have been and continue to be, caste-specific. These skills are non-remunerative and not upmarket. For example, scavengers or ‘Safai karmacharis’. Changing these skills as monetarily rewarding, skills with entrepreneurial ability and career opportunities are challenging.
  3. Absence of micro-level study on skill development: Delineated geographical and administrative units and the skills pertaining to that locality are not considered for skill training. Instead, the skill training initiatives heavily focused on the training of persons on machinaries.
  4. Not recognising the backward and forward linkages in skill training. So, far Indian skill training initiatives have neglected the linkages in skill training.
    • For example, skill training in the tourism sector at present only involves skill training in aspects of tourism in a particular district alone. They do not consider the border picture and provide training on national and state tourism maps/destinations/policies.
  5. The skill training does not emphasise the findings between the opportunities and trainees’ attitudes and aspirations. Without the interest, without identifying an individual’s potential the skill training is done in India. So, at the end of the skill training, the trained persons might not get adequate employment opportunities. Further, over a period of time, he/she might forget the training he/she had.
Suggestions to improve skill development
  1. Capacity building of DSC is essential. Further, to ensure true decentralisation the DSCs has to ensure optimum resource utilisation and the inclusion of all marginalised sections of society.
  2. The skill development of DSC have to focus on,
    • Creating and managing knowledge
    • Customising and localising content
    • Disseminating knowledge through training
    • Providing opportunities for guided practice
    • Lastly, Evaluation with actionable feedback.
  3. Leveraging skill training to ensure socio-economic development: For example, mechanisation of the work for manual scavengers, rag-pickers will provide monetary benefits and result in social change. Further, it will also provide entrepreneurial ability and career opportunities to the caste-based skills also.
  4. The increased role of states: The state government not only have to send officials for skill enhancement but also has to provide incentives to the trained officers. For example, the state government can provide choice for their next postings, extending them in their deputation posts, sponsoring them for a higher training course, etc.
  5. District skill planning has to understand the socio-economic profile of the district population. To understand this, the government have to perform the micro-level study. The study should also take account of individuals attitudes and aspiration.
  6. The government also has to differentiate between the training that gives livelihoods to people at the local level and the training that grow beyond the local at state, national or
    international levels. The government also has to encourage people to move ahead and get training beyond the local level.
  7. Interact with industry representatives: The government has to interact with Local industry, trade chambers, sector skill councils, and experts to identify relevant industrial skills. Similarly, the government also has to provide courses in self-development and interpersonal communication and other softer aspects.
  8. Recognising the backward and forward linkages: The government has to provide holistic training. For example, skill training in the tourism sector should also include training on national and state tourism maps/destinations/policies.

Source: Yojana – May 2021

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