Report by India Education bureau, New Delhi: India Skills Report 2014 launched by Mr Shikhar Agrawal, Director General, Employment and Training at The National Conference on Skill Development organized by CII, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of HRD and the National Skills Development Corporation today has tried to bring in a more realistic, holistic view of skill and talent landscape in India. The report is jointly prepared by CII, PeopleStrong and Wheebox.
WEST- an employability skill test launched on Wheebox.com across 28 States and 7 UTs of India captured the current skill levels of the country. About 100000 students across spread across these campuses were assessed on 244 domain areas and skill gaps that are scientific in nature were validated using reliable Talent assessment tools.
The result was an overall picture depicting how the students rank in terms of skills that are imperative to judge the employability. For the demand side, about 100 Employers, spread across 10 major sectors like Manufacturing, BFSI, and ITES/IT etc. were surveyed to get the job demand and potential hiring forecasts of these employers for the coming year. Result was an industry wise hiring estimate for the coming year for different profiles.
Combining these two aspects, this report is an effort to form the basis of effective collaboration between the two ends of Talent Supply chain. On one hand, it aims to equip the students with information to access to the job pool in the market, on the other to provide the employers an access to skill reservoir of the country.
In his address, Mr. S Ramadorai, Chairman, National Skills Development Corporation & National Skill Development Agency and Advisor to the Prime Minister on Skills stated that there is a disconnect between supply and demand when it came to skilled manpower.
“Even as we think of skills, we must match them with jobs.” He observed that “In a country with with over 600 million people in the working age group, the need of the hour is ‘Job led Growth’. We need to focus efforts on things that generate employment such as cultivating entrepreneurs and promoting SMEs. Whether it is services or manufacturing sector, our mantra should be - ‘more with more for more’. By this I mean generate more output with more people in a manner to impact and benefit more people.” he stated.
Mr. Ramadorai observed that the current educational system was not adequate to serve the needs of the country and there was a need to adopt Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) to provide high quality education to a much larger cross section of people. He felt that the National IT Backbone could be leveraged for this purpose.
He stated that the cost of putting a hour of video online costs about two cents. A lot of everyday skills such as cooking, beauty etc. are already online. He called for the creation of a national portal where such videos and digital material could be made freely available.
He called on industry to take a leadership role in promoting skill development in the country.
Also as a vast majority of the workforce is in the informal sector, he observed that the Government was aligning itself with various NGO’s to extend the reach of its skill development initiatives.
He also encouraged private companies to allow their employees to volunteer to train people in various skills as well as devote some part of their CSR funds for skill development.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Agrawal highlighted that there is a need to upskill the existing workers so as to help spur economic growth. He observed that the 12thFive Year Plan had set a target of training 5 crore people during the plan period. He called for substantial investments – both from the private as well as the government sectors to help achieve this target.
He suggested that a website needed to be created which would aggregate the jobs available and the jobseekers and help connect the two. He mentioned that the government had already sanctioned Rs. 150 crores for this project.
He stated that the government was in the process of revisiting the entire apprenticeship process and announced that a draft Apprenticeship Bill would be ready for public discussion in about a month’s time. He also announced the setting up of the National Career Services to promote the concept of internship.
He called for the revamp of the ITI’s operating in the country especially in terms of their examination systems, and the need to put in place a “Train the Trainers” scheme.
While delivering the Theme Address at the Conference, Mr. S Mahalingam, Chairman, CII National Committee on Skill Development stated that the need for skills upgradation was being felt more than ever. The world was moving towards a system where the workforce needed constant skills upgradation. He observed that studies by the National Skills Development Corporation, BCG and others indicate that the skills gap was spread across all levels and al categories of jobs. He called for an institutional mechanism to capture the needs of skills required by Indian industry so that manpower to fill the same could be trained accordingly.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII stated that the issue of skill development was a high priority for the nation as well as for CII. It is for this reason CII in partnership with the Government of India had undertaken various initiatives such as starting sector skills councils, skill centers, skill gurukuls, upgradation of ITI’s among others.
Mr. Rajeev Dubey, Co-Chairman, CII National Quality on Skill & President (Group HR Corporate Services & After-Market) & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. highlighted the need to develop a partnership between the various stakeholders to work towards the goal of skill development.
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