Quality, quantity, relevance, systemic reforms and efficient delivery mechanisms are the key issues for India to tackle if it aspires to create 500 million skilled people by 2022.
FICCI 4th Global Skills Summit
Speaking in the inaugural session of the 4th Global Skills Summit organized by FICCI, Mr Sharda Prasad, Director General of Employment & Training(DG&ET), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, stated that in the last few years skill development has moved to the centrestage of the national agenda. From a predominantly government’s goal, the skill development is now increasingly being driven by the private sector.
It is now universally recognized that a nation’s economic strength and growth squarely rests on the skills and the knowledge base of its human resources. In the case of India, Mr. S Ramadorai, Advisor, Prime Minister’s National Skill Development Council, stated that 93 per cent of the Indian workforce is in the unorganized sector with no formal training. There is a critical need to upgrade the skills of the workforce in order to maintain and strengthen the Indian growth. He emphasized the need to impart bankable skills to the people, citing the case of the Germany which is doing well compared to the highly depressed economies of the Eurozone, primarily because of its skilled work force.
India – Skill center of the World
India stands at the cusp of being the Skill Center of the World. This is because a skilled workforce would not only to fuel India’s growth but also to meet the emerging workforce demand in the western nations with aging population. The country has made significant progress in this regard, he said.
The number of Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) has increased from about 5000 in 2006-07 to around 9500. The training capacity too has increased from about 2.5 million in 2006-07 to around 5 million per annum. All this has resulted in job placements to nearly 80-90 per cent of ITI graduates as opposed to around 35 per cent in 2003.
However, the country still needs to gear up for the internal challenges like inconsistency in infrastructure and delivery mechanisms, and a larger role for sector skills councils. In order to meet the 500 million skilled people target by 2022, the country needs a training capacity of 40 million per annum, which is eight times the current capacity. The country also needs to introduce systemic reforms like anchoring a credible labour market information system whereby both the industrial requirements and skill inventory would be available in real time.