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Last updated: 10 Jun, 2015  

msme-THMB-2010.jpg Skill development: Reaping demographic dividend

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Bikky Khosla | 09 Jun, 2015
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Minister recently declared that the government would set up 500 incubation centres on PPP model across the country. Needless to say this will be a positive step toward skill development, but in a country where around 65 percent of the population is below 35 years of age and only 2 percent of them are skilled, steps like this sound grossly inadequate. We need a comprehensive plan to skill our workforce and make the best of our demographic potential.

According to an estimate, currently India has approximately 3.4 million skilled workers and there will be a demand for 500 million by 2022. This means we have to create 496.6 million skilled workers in eight years only to meet the shortage. The estimate adds that if the current state of affairs continues, the auto and auto component sector will face a shortage of 35 million skilled workers, the construction sector will face a shortage of 1.4 million, and gems and jewellery will face a shortfall of 4.6 million skilled workers by 2022. This sounds alarming.

I think our education system, which is theory-centric and hardly focuses on training students in employable skills, is largely responsible for this. The system needs a complete overhaul. Vocational education should be encouraged at every level -- secondary, post-secondary and higher education level. In addition, it is high time to vigorously follow a model like Germany's Dual Education system. Also, there is an urgent need to reform the existing vocational training facilities and strengthen the industry-academia link for adequate job creation.

The new government has created a dedicated ministry for skill development and entrepreneurship. Several measures, including the flagship Skill India programme, have been launched. It has been reported that hundreds of new ITIs and skill development centres will be set up. These are positive measures, but considering the depth of the problem, I think enhanced efforts are required. The latest NSDA data also signals to this – 21 government departments and ministries succeeded in training 7.6 million people in 2014-15, as against a target of 10.5 million people.

Involvement of the states is also crucial. At present, skill development programmes conducted at state level are far from success. First of all, funds allotted under most of the schemes are diverted for private gain at every level. In addition, the officials do little to create mass awareness about these programmes. Under some schemes, a handful of beneficiaries are provided training, but there is hardly any effort to connecting trainees with jobs. Equipment and tools are provided to self-help groups, but little is done to help them climb the ladder of entrepreneurship. Something has to be done to change this situation.

I invite your opinions.

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Skill development in India.
Dr Chris Hertzog. | Mon Jun 15 03:18:41 2015
I agree wholeheartedly with your editorial. It would seem impossible to create a further 496 million skilled workers within just a few years, even with a radical shake up at Ministerial level. The problem you have highlighted is the same as in Thailand - where money is allocated for a training program, a whole chunk of it finds its way into private pockets, with little or no result to be shown for it. That coupled with no real effort to marry up any training that is provided to appropriate jobs, makes a nonsense of the whole effort. India has such potential, but without a proper skill base, it will be wasted. Western countries cannot afford the soaring costs of their service industries, and now is the chance for India to seize the initiative, especially as their command of English is far higher than in most Asian countries.

Skill Development
Diwakar | Sun Jun 14 01:03:48 2015
I agree to the current situation which needs to be changed on war-footing, The states have made a mockery of the schemes and needs voluntary organisations or mostly individuals who can register themselves with a central body who can analyse the experiences and develop teams to take up a particular area of development and bring in the required results, This is easily possible, To address the issue, I would request you the CEO of the SME Times to call for like minded professionals on a common platform with the decision makers from the government and set agenda with specific tasks to be implemented against the crisis. This way we can make a modest beginning and I can offer my services in the Apparel Training area which stands sadly neglected. Apparel Training can majorly change the livelihoods of many rural India today. I see that by fixing a few loose ends, we can bridge the gap between the SDC and the industry. We need warriors who can take this as a cause and also be rewarded by the Government for their services. I appreciate that you have raised the nations biggest issue which is still at discussion stage, With more than 2 decades of experience, I stand committed to bring in change if identified for improving SDC.. Thank you and wish that many more people come on board to bring in effective changes to the nations problem. Collectively we can change for the good.

We have crisis and solution is present too. Just need to work over, Need you advice
Naveen Mishra | Sat Jun 13 10:50:40 2015
In my surroundings is Teesta Low Dam - III Power Station & Teesta Low Dam Power Stage - IV,former completed and later under construction, under NHPC Ltd. Through my evaluation,I came to know that in order to run and maintain the power house,the minimum requirement of manpower of semi - skilled, skilled,highly skilled, specially highly skilled person (i.e.max- 30 mechnical,25 hydromechanical,30 electrical,20)is not less than 80person in one station. At present, Project official have managed by bringing them from different states but without any skillful local. I wish to send our youth to be trained for the job, which would become a must one day but I need sponsors for every trainee for everything as our society has only financially unstable people. Can you help me to settle the issue for the betterment of Nation and economical up-liftment?

Skill development: Reaping demographic dividend
VIJAY VASATKAR | Fri Jun 12 04:27:42 2015
Very good details is given in this article. The opinion of Author is very true. India must have taken such concrete steps like Germany so that we can really achieve our Targets and all our Young generation get a descent jobs, which can reduced poverty, un-employments, drugs abuse, robbery like incidents. I am getting updates and good knowledge of articles. Thanks for sending this articles

skill development
GYP Reddy | Thu Jun 11 05:16:59 2015
ok i accept with your argument in implementation the government and the so called institutions which are engaging / interested with the job are miss using the funds allotted for accomplishment of the task. in my opinion the government should stop all the subsidies what ever it may be. the policies should be worked out the way where in the welfare of the children from the really downtrodden, helpless orphans, physically handicapped from their childhood should be taken up by the government by diverting all the funds ment for subsidies. the present welfare schemes are making the people lazy. a trend of eversion prevailed in the working community. here working community means those who are physically suitable to work in their respective fields. many people asking that the government is providing every thing for my family and the government is making available liquor to enjoy with my earnings. my earnings are sufficient. why should work daily? this is the trend prevailed. ok leave them. but we should work for the skill development in the coming generations by introducing proper schemes allotting sufficient funds and motivate the organisers /executors. i have no confidence on voluntary organisations. my experience says that they will spent 10 per cent of the funds for the poor and needy but they will spent 90% on their functions and show the work to press very attractively with using their polished language.

  Re: skill development
Dr Chris Hertzog | Mon Jun 15 03:22:43 2015
In that case it ought to be central Government that implements the training schemes, thus obviating funds being misdirected into private pockets. However, a tight check would have to be kept on direct Government employees, or the funds could easily be siphoned off at that level as well. Introduce punitive measures for misappropriation and progress could be made very rapidly indeed. I am sure the will is there on the part of the potential trainees!

skill development
Randall VanDerAa | Wed Jun 10 16:34:57 2015
Looks like an excellent opportunity for an entrepreneur to start trade development education businesses. Waiting for the government to fix something generally is a waste of time.

Skill & Enterprenuerialship
Vikram | Wed Jun 10 09:36:54 2015
It is like lucrative market that nation wide IIT's are an export unit where Engineering Colleges are just pumping out academicians with half or less knowledge that AICTE is a money minting server to the title holders whom came to power through back door where none as on today reached the position through open challenge. Polytechnic is also partially under skilled labour pump house and ITI's are just a certificating agency that whom are came out from most of these institutes doesn't know what they studied and how to perform except some Government institutions. In India Middle Managers country that just make money swallow maximum and rest share with the Politico Bureaucratic alliance group. It is now required policy matters. Primarily club with IIT-Banks-CSIR & Similar Institutions - DRDO in a team and any one wanted to do business IIT-Bank-DRDO & similar instituions representative to meet the needy. Listen to them their vision, need and challenge then develop the choice of action by the support of Core Team to international standard. As long as Banks and industries department Centre are looters and development of the country will be sluggish. What is skill and their is any definition towards skill? The educational institutions must stop present kind of academician producing factory to divert students from 7th or 8th class to professional courses which ever they wish to move ahead. It this system is adopted then Changes will be with in years not required to wait till 2022

Jayashree N | Wed Jun 10 06:30:55 2015
A model Govt. needs transparency of administration, then only the implemented plans will reach the goals.So may skilled manpower has no proper opportunity. Our leaders know to release promises but they lack by will to fulfil. Country needs "Imandar leaders". I hope such programs are made for fund diverting. We need desperately, revolutionary changes in the system. Seat for money , money for seat should be replaced by seat for service, service for seat.

Skill Development
O.P.Khandelwal, Indore. | Wed Jun 10 06:12:41 2015
In India,there are some typical type Industries are suited in some particular area, such as Solvent Plants (mainly Soya) are concentrate in Madhya Pradesh & Maharastra, most of the Chemical industries are in Ankeleshwar & Bharuch district of Gujrat, Gems & Jewellery at Surat of Gujrat & Jaipur of Rajasthan, these are the example. So Govt has to ask such industries, requirement of specific type of skilled labours and open the training centres as per the requirement of the industries. This will help to meet out the skilled labours requirement of such specific industries. So first of all Govt has to make survey & according to the requirement of the industries, open the training centres.

B.K.Vetrivel | Wed Jun 10 05:18:13 2015
The poor family students to be prepared with required skill to join a industry after their 12. In case of who can offered for UG/ PG to be prepared to work in their respective field of academic qualification with the cooperation of Industry. The educational institutions to work jointly with industry to develop skill as required by the industry.

Skill Development
Punit | Wed Jun 10 04:18:38 2015
This is the most important issue to be discussed, i think government should try to develop the skills of current work force by doing the skill development programme mandatory for the companies and by increasing the weightage of Practical session in current education system irrespective of the field. So this we can improve the skilled labor for current situation and for future also. Thanking you.

Skill development
Aarti shah | Wed Jun 10 03:42:00 2015
More awareness is definitely required for everyone to participate in the scheme. Skilled professionals like us would. Surely come forward to help.

Skill development
Ashok Kumar Puri | Wed Jun 10 03:34:07 2015
The contention of the programme that only one trainer per 10 employees with a maximum of 2 will never improve the trainees skills. Most workers will not divulge their skills to juniors for fear of loosing their jobs. Large companies take advantage of these schemes to get cheap unskilled labour who work only as helpers. The ratio should be bought down to 1:1 for all micro and SSI units. The training should also be 2 days staggered in a week theory at the closed ITI eg every Monday and Thursday and 4 days of practical experience in a training workshop. This way a local ITI can have 3 times the amount of students as each batch attends only 2 days in a week. This system has proved to be the most successful imparting theoretical and practical knowledge to trainees. The author is a President Gold Medalist in All India Skills Competition 1970 NCTVT and today the owner and Managing Director of 3 SSI Units

Skill development
Sivaprasad | Wed Jun 10 03:30:06 2015
Good minds are not attracted to skill development due to poor dividends. For example, a marketing manager has better prospects of climbing the corporate ladder than a service manager. We give more respect and money to white collar jobs than blue collar jobs. People with passion for such skilled work continue in such jobs, but people who speak jargons go up and rule over them. I think to attract best minds, our payment policy needs a revamp.

  Re: Skill development
Dr Chris Hertzog. | Mon Jun 15 03:29:28 2015
In that case, bring in outsiders who are not threatened by favouritism or climbing up the corporate ladder. More expensive, admittedly, in the short term, but calculate the rewards in the medium to long term. There might also be more respect for trainers from Europe and the U.S. et al?

Skill Development
Tavinder | Tue Jun 9 17:35:52 2015
In my opinion, senior citizen having vast experience be engaged actively on skill development. It will be quality education at a very nominal cost. They be authorized to train persons. on completion of training they should be certified by a Govt. certified agency & trainer be compensated or paid on the number of persons certified. Training infrastructure be created by the trainer with financial aids from banks. Tooling, material to be provided to these persons on subsisted rates or they may be given existing facilities like ITI or other institutes in the evening when regular classes are not use. These trainers & their institutes can market their products created by the trainees or govt should take these products from such institutes for their use in offices or other Govt facilities. This will sustain the training cost & training will be free or the persons being trained may earn while being trained.

  Re: Skill Development
Dr Chris Hertzog | Mon Jun 15 03:26:59 2015
You are right! Skilled and experienced senior citizens could be usefully recruited to help, and on the whole might be more honest and divert less funds into their own pockets! This is a real problem in Thailand and other neighbouring countries. The trainer's pension should not be reduced, if any, but incentives should be introduced or India will not get even a fraction of the number of skilled workers required over the next 12 years!

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