New Delhi: Lauding women achievers empowered by programs and initiatives of the Skill India Mission, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) marked International Women’s Week at an event in the capital today. Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Union Minister, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, was Chief Guest at the event attended by hundreds of women to celebrate stories of transformation, women who braved insurmountable odds to emerge as examples of the success of Skill India Mission.
Senior officials and dignitaries including Shri Praveen Kumar, Secretary, MSDE, Ms. Juthika Patankar, Addnl Secretary, MSDE, Smt. Neelam, Shami Rao, Director General, DGT, Vinita Aggarwal, DG, NSDA, Ms. Anuradha Vemuri, Joint Secretary, Entrepreneurship, Vigilance, Economic & Policy) & CVO and Dr. Manish Kumar, CEO & MD, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) were part of the event that not only acknowledged women for their achievements but also for the impact they made on the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the country.
Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey handed out certificates to the winners of several competitions held especially for women across multiple trades and various programs initiated under Skill India Mission. Best from waste, webpage designing, short video making and debate competition are some of the categories in which the competitions were organised.
Among the many inspirational stories of grit and strength were Farah Naaz, a beautician from Jan Shiksha Sansthan (JSS), Lata Parmar who trained at National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) and Rani, employed at Burger King. All these women narrated the hardships they had to overcome to rise above adverse circumstances and carve an identity for themselves. Farah, who was abandoned by her husband and her in-laws, trained as a beautician and now works in a salon, is raising her son with dignity. Lata, trained at National Skill Training Institute (NSTI), a personal secretary to the office of the Additional Director General (ADG) at PWD, New Delhi, and Rani, a beneficiary of the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS), works full-time at Burger King.
Similar stories were narrated by Manisha Pal, who works at a financial service firm and Arti who trained under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) before she was placed with Max Hospitals. The 700-strong hall was moved and inspired by the stories of specially-abled Sitara and Janki who successfully warded off challenges to lead lives of dignity, and have become champions for inclusivity.
Lauding entrepreneurship among women, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Honorable Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, said, “I salute the spirit of women who have shown courage to come forward and made a difference to their lives and the lives of others. Women are torchbearers of our society and are an important cog in the nation’s march to economic development. I am honoured to have the opportunity to host such an impressive array of women achievers who through our skilling initiatives are helping drive aspirations among others. Through our programs, aspiring female professionals have started to take their rightful place in the workforce while inspiring their peers from heterogeneous backgrounds to come forth and become a force to reckon with. It is heartening to see women breaking traditional barriers and training in less conventional skills to make a mark globally. From traditional handicraft to new-age trades, women are progressing in every field and I look forward to many more women champions.”
The event was curated to raise awareness on various initiatives under the Skill India Mission and especially key programmes focused on women. Through the many programs of the training and skill development drive, MSDE seeks to increase the participation of women in the workforce. The Skill India Mission is committed to facilitate this by equipping women with market-relevant skills and lead them on a path of self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.
The following initiatives have been undertaken taken to facilitate skill development among women and spur entrepreneurship:
PMKVY- Long Term Training:
Focus on women enrolment has resulted in significant success. Through a wide network of 15,042 ITIs spanning the country, the number of women getting admission has nearly doubled (97%) to 173,105 women trainees in 2019 as compared to 87,799 women trainees in 2014, before the commencement of Skill India.
PMKVY – Short Term Training
The flagship PMKVY strives to promote increased participation of women in the workforce through appropriate skilling and gender mainstreaming of skills. Close to 40% of the candidates enrolled and trained under PMKVY (2016-20) are women; out of the total 73 lakh candidates who have benefited from the scheme. Programs under the Skill India Mission are designed to not only train women in relevant skills that are sought by employers, but they are also sensitive to their needs by providing safe transport, flexible schedules and childcare support.
National Skill Training Institutes Exclusive for Women
18 National Skill Training Institutes (for Women) are imparting skill training exclusively for women. The NSTIs (W) organize skill training programmes in several areas such as Office Management, Electronics, Fashion Design & Technology, Computer-Aided Embroidery & Designing etc. We are also seeing active participation from women in new age job roles aligned to Industry 4.0 like those in Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, Data Analytics etc. and also across in skills like welding, automobile mechanics etc.
Traditional and Non-Traditional Roles
While women dominate sectors such as Apparel, Beauty & Wellness and Healthcare, there is an increasing presence in non-traditional roles such as those in Electronics and Hardware, with a large number of female enrolments (1.03 lakh) under the Field Technician – Computing and Peripherals job role in this sector.
Supporting National Missions
Skill India has partnered with Government Initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission etc. to align skill development efforts to these national missions by ensuring a steady flow of skilled workforce. These programs are also generating lakhs of jobs, particularly for women by creating job roles like caregiver, midwives, nurses, diabetes educators etc.
To further promote Apprenticeship training, Directorate General of Training, a wing under MSDE, is undertaking gender study to determine constraints for women in participating in ITI and Apprenticeship training and their transition into the labour market.
Future jobs and industry-oriented courses
Aligned to NSQF, there are nearly 450 job roles which are concentrated towards skill training of women.
Skill India is encouraging participation of women in new-age job roles aligned to Industry 4.0 such as Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, Data Analytics etc. and has witnessed increased participation of women in hard skills like welding, automobile mechanics etc. Our programs have sparked interest in young girls to train themselves in skills for job roles in unconventional and new-age areas like CNC mechanics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, that are in line with the future of jobs. For instance, In the past two years alone, as many as 892 females were trained as automation specialists while about 500 were trained as CNC Operators. Skill India has also partnered with global industry leaders like SAP, Adobe, IBM to create skill development programs aligned to the needs of Industry 4.0.
The National Skill Development and Policy focuses on inclusive skill development with the objective of increased women participation for increased economic productivity. Emphasis has been laid on creating additional infrastructure both for training and apprenticeship, flexible training delivery mechanisms, including afternoon batches and local need-based training to accommodate women. Ensuring safe and gender-sensitive training environment, employing women trainers, bringing equity in remuneration and complaint redressal mechanism are also important part of the policy.