Skill India seeks to give all Indians, the opportunity to aspire and achieve a better future for themselves and their families. A combination of demographic, economic and social factors makes skill development an urgent policy priority for India.
The challenges are immense. 54% of India’s population is below 25 years of age and over 62% of the population is the working-age group. Yet, only 4.69% of the Indian population has undergone formal skills training. By 2025, almost 1 in 5 of the world’s working age population (18.3%) will be Indian. Recent skill gap reports suggest that over 109 million incremental human resources will be required in India alone, across 24 key sectors by the year 2022. 93% of India’s workers work in the unorganised sector and acquire skills through informal channels and lack formal certification. How can India’s skill training ecosystem be equipped to cope with these diverse challenges?
India’s first Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was established in July 2014 under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to specifically focus on addressing the above challenges. This Department became a full-fledged Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) in November 2014, when Rajiv Pratap Rudy was inducted into the Council of Ministers. The primary focus of MSDE is to develop a robust policy framework and programme of action for scaling up skill development efforts in India, at speed and scale, while ensuring quality outcomes. The major initiatives taken over the past nine months by MSDE, in order to lay a strong foundation for the skill training and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country are detailed below:
I. Establishing a Clear Policy Framework: Policy, Mission, Common Norms
MSDE has taken three major policy initiatives during its first few months of existence.
National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015, was unveiled in July 2015. The Policy articulates a framework for skilling at scale and speed while ensuring high quality outcomes. Policy Implementation Unit (PIU) was set up and a system of quarterly monitoring of key elements of policy was established.
National Skill Development Mission approved in July 2015 seeks to converge, coordinate, implement and monitor skilling activities on a pan-India basis. Governing Council, Steering Committee and Executive Committee were notified. Sub Missions and interface with State Skill Missions would be made operational within March’16.
Common Norms for all skill development programmes across Central Ministries/Departments have been notified. Meetings and consultations for adoption of Common Norms held. Complete alignment to be done by 1.4.2016.
India now has a robust policy framework to scale up skill development initiatives across the country. Having set out the policy framework, MSDE has also been working on developing a coherent programme of action.
II. Developing a Programme of Action: Key Achievements
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), MSDE’s flagship outcome-based skill training scheme, was launched by the Prime Minister on 15 July 2015. A pilot phase of the scheme was initiated on 25 May 2015. PMKVY aims to incentivise young people to enrol in skill development initiatives, by providing a monetary reward to every young person who successfully completes an approved skill training programme, with an affiliated training provider. PMKVY is funded by Government of India and implemented through National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). 24 lakh youth across India will be trained under PMKVY in the next one year, of which 14 lakh trainees will be fresh entrants. 50,000 Persons with Disabilities will also be trained under PMKVY. In addition, youth who do not possess formal certification, will be assessed and certified through an initiative known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in PMKVY. 10 lakh youth will be trained under the RPL initiative, over the next year. This will be an important effort to recognize the skills and open up new job opportunities for a vast majority of young Indians who acquire skills through informal channels or work in the unorganised sector.
Achievements under PMKVY: 5.17 lakh enrolled in fresh training and balance target allocated; Pilot in RPL done and target of 5 lakh allocated. Target of 14 lakh fresh training and 10 lakh RPL would be achieved by March 2016.
·Industrial Training Institutes (ITI), which were formerly under the Ministry of Labour and Employment were transferred to MSDE in April this year. A number of initiatives are being undertaken to revitalise these organisations. This includes for example, upgrading their curriculum (in collaboration with industry experts), strengthening industry linkages, scaling up apprenticeships, modernising equipment and facilities within ITIs etc. In addition, 34 ITIs and 68 Skill Development Centres are also being established in 34 Left Wing Extremism (LWE) affected districts to open up employment opportunities for youth in these areas. These initiatives are aimed at improving the quality of training in these institutions and ensuring that students who complete ITI courses are employable.
Achievements: 1141 new ITIs with 1.73 lakh seats added in past 1 year. Total now 13,105 ITIs with 18.7 lakh seats in 126 trades;
Apprenticeships: The Apprenticeship Act was Modiefied in 2014, to incentivise employers to take on more apprentices. New Apprentices rules notified on 18 June’15 enabling 4-fold increase in apprentices. Advocacy campaign among industry taken up and online portal launched. Upward trend in enrollment already noted this year.
Strategic partnerships have also been undertaken between MSDE and other Ministries/Departments in the Central Government, to collaborate on scaling up skill training activities in specific sectors. MSDE now has strategic partnerships with Ministries/Departments, including Ministries of Social Justice and Empowerment (Department for Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities), Health and Family Welfare, Steel, Mines, Railways, Defence and Chemicals and Fertilizers (Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Department of Fertilizers, Department of Pharmaceuticals)(Annexure). Public Sector Units (PSUs) within these sectors and related contractors will be encouraged to hire workers certified in job roles aligned to NSQF, utilize CSR funds for skill training purposes and set up Centres of Excellence in collaboration with DGT or NSDC, through these strategic partnerships. These partnerships will play an important role in scaling up skill training initiatives and ensuring that skill training takes place at high quality, in each of these sectors.
Overseas Employment:Study report on overseas employment opportunities received and action plan being developed. MoU with Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MoOIA) finalized to launch Pravasi Kaushal Viskas Yojana for pre-departure cum orientation programme of emigrants.
National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been established in 2010 in order to catalyse private sector involvement in the area of skill development. Over the last one year, NSDC partners have skilled 24.93 lakh people and placed about 12 lakh people through its ecosystem.As on 31st Oct 2015 NSDC funded partners have trained a total of59.3 lakh students. 24.5 lakh students have been placed. Placement percentage stands atabout 64% for NSDC funded skilling partners (excluding training under all special schemes).
To ensure that training undertaken from any recognized training provider is industry aligned, NSDC is funding industry led Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) that create National Occupation Standards (NOS). Till date, NSDC Board has approved 39 Sector Skill Councils. Out of these 28 have been funded and 31 are operational.
Post November 2014, the following 8 New SSCs have been approved
1. Chemical & Petrochemical SSC
2. Paints & Coatings SSC (IPA)
3. Management SSC
4. Green Job SSC
5. Strategic Manufacturing SSC
6. Furniture & Fitting SSC
7. PWD SSC
8. Instrumentation SSC
·The number of SSCs which developed National Occupational Standards (NOS) has grown from 22 in Nov 2014 to 31 by end of Oct 2015. During this 1 year, SSCs developed QPs (Qualification Packs) for 614 job roles. To date, there are 1507 QPs containing 8302 NOSs out of which 3523 are unique NOS. 1016 QPs designed by the SSC’s have been registered as National Standards.
·Skill Gap Studies: Completed for 26 (24+2) sectors; District-wise studies completed for all States; Environmental scan commissioned to be overseen by joint groups of related Ministries / SSCs.
·Udaan: Special Industry initiative for youth (graduates) from J&K to cover 40,000 in 5 years funded by MHA implemented by NSDC. Trained 10,555 youth, placed 4984 so far.
·National Skill Development Agency (NSDA): which is also a part of the Ministry plays an important role as a normative body. Its focus is on ensuring that skill training programmes are aligned to National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) and quality assurance mechanisms are operational. Till date, NSDA has 1461 qualifications (1345 from SSCs & 116 NCVT) have been aligned to NSQF. NSDA has also held workshops with 10 other Union Ministries and State Governments to Operationalise NSQF.
Entrepreneurship: NIESBUD has already covered 1,98,000 trainees under CD-based Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP). The institute will cover 2,00,000 more trainees by 31st March 2015.
International Collaborations: MSDE has signed MoUs with Germany, UK, China and Australia, to scale up apprenticeships, support, training of trainers, curriculum development, ensure benchmarking of standards and create Centres of Excellence in skill training across the country.
World Skills: NSDC has been spearheading India’s participation at the WorldSkill Competitions since 2010. India participated in 27 Skills with 29 competitors selected from across India. For WSC 2015, 5 new Skills were identified namely Prototype Modelling, Aircraft Maintenance, Brick Laying, Wall and Floor Tiling and Visual Merchandising. India won 8 medallions of excellence in Beauty Therapy, Welding, Graphic Design Technology, Prototype Modelling, Jewellery Design, Plastic Die Engineering, Hairdressing and Bricklaying. As a prelude to the preparation promising candidates and trainers in 14 skills were given international exposure at the OCEANIA competition in New Zealand. Apart from India 6 other countries (China, Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada and Korea) participated in the competition. The Indian contingent consisted of 34 members in 14 skills and came home with 6 medals with Gold Medal in Beauty Therapy, Silver Medal in Jewellery Making and in Pastry and Confectionery, Bronze Medal in Bricklaying, Auto body Repair and Wall & Floor Tiling. The 44th WSC Competitions will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE from 14-19 October 2017.
(Information source: Government sites)