Govt. sets target to skill 500 million people by 2022

In India, approximately 12.8 million people join the job market every year. This number comprises people who are highly skilled, who form a minuscule part, and who are semiskilled or not skilled. The last category is the bulk of the population entering the workforce every year. The current skill capacity of the country is about five million - a deficit of more than seven million annually.

Dilip Chenoy, CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), which was set up as part of the government's national skill development mission , says, "Skilling 500 million people by 2022 is a challenge.

Considering the fact that only about 20% of college graduates today are deemed employable, Santanu Paul, CEO, TalentSprint, feels that for a country that produces close to 30 lakh graduates every year, there is a major issue if 24 lakh are unemployable. "Consider the irony: by 2020, the number of college graduates is expected to rise between 75 lakh and one crore annually; in the same period, research shows that about one crore new jobs will be created in the IT/BFSI segment. Although it looks like a perfect demand-supply balance, 80% of the resource will be unemployable. Hence, the urgency for skill development and employability," explains Paul.

Vijay Thadani, CEO, NIIT Ltd, which runs NIIT Yuva Jyoti (NYJ), a joint venture between NIIT and NSDC, says that NYJ aims to provide industry and job specific training to around 70 lakh Indians by 2022 across sectors like retail, IT/ITES, banking and financial services, education and training, media and entertainment , healthcare, telecom and hospitality.

Though the 500-million target is stiff, experts in the field believe that it is achievable. As Manish Sabharwal, CEO, TeamLease, points out, "Our demographic dividend will become a demographic debt if we do not achieve the targets of the National Skill Policy."

Some companies are also focusing on the growth of entrepreneurs. Muralidhar Rao, CEO, Future Learning, a Future Group company, says that they have factored entrepreneurs in the skill plan.

Out of a target of 7 million people to be skilled, 5.6 million will be placed/employed , while 1.4 million will be self-employed , who will in turn, generate more employment through their businesses. The company is looking at providing training in the unorganized sector like carpentry, masonry, besides the sectoral skill development.

In accordance with the government's National Policy on Skill Development, NSDC is setting up sector skill councils, to create a labour market information system and assess market demand and type of jobs available, ensure that people passing out of these institutes are industry-ready,  among others. Seven sector skills councils have been approved to date while another 30 are in different phases of implementation.

Source / Excerpt from an article from Times of India – Education Times - January 9, 2012