Presence of Top ministers in the celebratory event signals renewed Govt push to Skill India Mission and in particular to apprenticeships

4th Anniversary of WORLD YOUTH SKILLS DAY:

July 15 is the World Youth Skills Day and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) for the past four years has been celebrating the day in a high profile manner ostensibly to promote Skill India initiative announced by the Prime Minister Modi. A regular to the event for the past three years, the PM, didn’t attend this time. However, participation of several top ministers  connected to skills sector in one way or other and a few enabling big ticket announcements, did convey that the government is preparing to move beyond rhetoric and bring in systemic reforms to provide impetus to Skill India Mission.

The Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, the Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics & Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, the Union Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey and the Minister of State for Power, New & Renewable Energy (Independent Charge) and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri Raj Kumar Singh at the “World Youth Skills Day” and 4th Anniversary Celebrations of Skill India Mission, in New Delhi on July 15, 2019.

Among the announcements made on the day includes launch of Degree Apprenticeship Program.  Designed by the two connected ministries—MSDE and MHRD, this dual vocational education program shall have apprenticeship/on-the-job training embedded in a 3 or 4 year University degree program. A few industry-academia exchanges were also announced to take this program forward.

MoUs were exchanged between Retailers Association’s Skill Council of India, Ness Wadia College of Commerce and McDonald’s for degree apprenticeship in retail sector; Media & Entertainment Skills Council, Shri Shankarlal Sundarbai Shasun Jain College for Women, Bot VFX Limited and Vikatan Group for degree apprenticeship in media sector.

Another announcement was related to promotion of Apprenticeship training in the financial sector where MoUs were signed between National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and the State Bank of India (SBI) and another with HDFC Bank.  Under this agreement, SBI shall be engaging 5,000 Apprentices as “Banking Front Office Executive and Tele-Caller”, in FY 2019-20 and HDFC Bank will hire 10,000 trained professionals under the ‘job ready’ programme, designed and created in association with NSDC, over the next three years.

In yet another agreement, Urban Clap collaborates with NSDC to ensure that its workforce is 100% Skill India certified through Recognition of Prior Learning’s (RPL) Program under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). Similarly, in a collaboration between NSDCC, BFSI Sector Skill Council and India Post Payments Bank, 170,000 Grameen Dak Sewaks will be certified as Banking Correspondents under RPL program of PMKVY.

Also, MoU was exchanged between the Directorate General of Training (DGT) and Dassault Aviation for the launch of Aerostructure Fitter and Welder program at ITI, Nagpur; and  between RDSDE (Regional Directorate of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship) Punjab and Trident Group for women empowerment. Additionally, the Directorate General of Training (DGT) announced the establishment of a new Japan India Institute for Manufacturing (JIIM) in Haryana and new courses in ITIs around training on Electric Vehicles (EVs), in line with an avowed intention of the Government to work for greener energy sources.

The highlight of the day was Kaushal Yuva Samwaad, an open dialogue with the youth across the country to discuss potential issues and solutions from the candidates’ perspective. The two-week consulting programme was organised on a nationwide scale to engage young job-seekers to understand their views and ideas, and identify opportunities to help the Ministry in building on existing programmes and improving overall efficiency of its projects. The recommendations received would be compiled and referred for further program implementations.

The event also witnessed introduction of 48-member contingent that will be representing India at WorldSkills International Competition, to be held from August 22 – 28 in Kazan, Russia. These young skill trainees, below 23 years, will be competing in 44-skills against their peers from 66 other countries.

Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs,  Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Law and Justice & Communication, Electronics and IT; Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Minister for Human Resource Development; Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare & Rural Development and Panchayati Raj were among a host of dignitaries at the event.

MSDE minister, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey while speaking on the day’s business said,“An idea that germinated with our Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of a Skilled India has now reached its next phase.  The foundation has already been laid. It is essential that there is seamless convergence across skill development programs, for which we seek support of all ministries, states and industries. We have placed emphasis on promoting apprenticeship and have rationalised the stipends to increase participation in this program.”

In words of RK Singh, MoS, “It is important to celebrate milestones. This is an opportunity for us to pause and reflect on the need gaps and the roadmap ahead for Skill India.  In a fast-moving economy riddled with disruptions, many have asked the question whether India will be able to address the needs of a vast population by providing them skills that will make them employable in the future? The answer is a definite yes and can be seen in the eyes of our youth who aspire to a better life.”