Teaching skills to the unskilled
Skill development and training of human resources is imperative if India wishes to achieve its place in the world as a developed nation. Economic growth and development is attached to the demand and supply chain, comprising not only raw material, but also skilled workforce that can drive the economics of the business in the right direction. According to estimates, India’s population will rise to 1.3 billion by 2020, out of which 60% will be within the working age, that is, 15-59 years. This presents tremendous opportunity to build a skilled and professionally trained people.
However, in the current scenario there are problems in the labour market due to sever skill mismatch. This in turn is related to other problems like high rates of unemployment among the masses and low remuneration for those who are forced to work in the informal sectors of the economy. In other words, skill building is not just about establishing training centres across the country, but also about facing the challenges and complaints of the non-competitive and unskilled workforce.
Another important point to note is that, despite taking advantage of demographic dividend, which is both an opportunity and concern for any nation, India with only 2.3% of the total workforce having undergone some type of skill training is far behind compared to 68% in the UK and 52% in the US. This is another significant challenge.The situation is further complicated by different states having different demographic situations, hence different skill requirements and challenges.
As per the latest survey by the Labour Bureau for 2013-14, only 6.8% of persons aged 15 years and above have received or were receiving vocational training, of which only 2.8% was through formal channels, while 4% was through the informal system. In contrast, skilled workforce in other countries is much higher – Korea (96%), Germany (75%), Japan (80%) and United Kingdom (68%).
A significant report made by the National Skill Development Corporation shows that out of approximately four lakh trained individuals, only 35% got placed in the market, while rest are still fighting for their livelihood. Looking from the gender perspective, for the 23 million jobs created between 2005 and 2012, only about one-third of the female workforce was employed. This is a cause for concern since this contributes to the vicious cycle of unemployment, poverty and loss of productive forces. This cycle is even more severe in far flung mountainous regions and Northeast India where the support infrastructure is poor.
Although some progress has been made in skill building and vocational enhancement, yet there is a need for more trainers and suitable infrastructure if we are to achieve the target of 500 million by 2022, as is the key vision of the National Skill Development Initiative.
CAF India’s interventions & achievements
Through our CSR initiatives and Give As You Earn employee giving programme, in association with our NGO partners, we are working towards building opportunities and infrastructure support for skill and livelihood building. Some of our projects include tailoring, small vocational training, IT training, entrepreneurship and small scale business support, green skilling, art and craft skilling, beautician courses and placements through our NGOs partners.
We have benefitted 18,167 people so far through our initiatives. This may seem like a small number on the national level, but our reach is gradually growing and we hope to touch more lives with every passing year.
Skilling India 2.0: Challenges aplenty: Business Standard, Mumbai: 15th July, 2015.
Skill Development in India 2015, FICCI, Pg 16.
Two new schemes to promote skills, employment options: Indian Express, New Delhi: 1st March, 2015.