Harness India’s demographic dividend to create Global cadre of skilled workforce: ASSOCHAM


Laying stress that India has to mould the demographic dividend into an asset through skill development matching the global standards, Sudhir Rajpal, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Haryana said that it is the need of the hour to do the mapping of ‘sector specific requirements’ as per already established investment commitments and train our youth to fulfill the required skilled workforce. Successful integration of developmental initiatives, processes and operations is must to meet growing skilling needs of the country, he added.

Rajpal was speaking during the “Skill India Summit: Skilling India for Global Opportunities” organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, ASSOCHAM, here today.

Manipal Dhariwal, Chairman, Skill Development Council, ASSOCHAM, founder & CEO, Netsmartz said, “In pursuit of bridging the gap between the demands of the industry and academia for the skills required, we are bringing the local and international communities together. We are contributing towards an ecosystem that instills employability skills in our country’s workforce. Our mission is to take India forward and we are well aware that the biggest resource “India” has is its people and their skills.”

India, he said, will have the largest workforce in the world by 2025, with an estimated two billion Skilled English-speaking people by the end of 2020. The world is expected to face a shortage of 56.5 million skilled workers, while India is projected to have a surplus of 47 million. Thus, this initiative is to recognize the future growth of India that depends on skill development, added Dhariwal.

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Stressing that skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development of any region, state or country, Dalip Sharma, Director, ASSOCHAM said, “The idea, is to not only train the youth to match the global standards, but to facilitate free global access to the certified skilled workforce across the globe by creating a Global cadre of skilled work force to international standards.” The objective of the event, he said, was to ensure that the youth are trained at the highest global standard in order to enable them to access employment opportunities in India and abroad.

A study conducted by ASSOCHAM, in association with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), suggests that in an effort to realign the skill ecosystem in India, the Union Government should take core elements of skill development from various ministries and pool them under a single minister with a budget of about Rs. 25,000 crore.

The study, titled ‘Skills development in India-An overview,’ also highlighted an urgent need to realign the skill ecosystem in the country to ensure quality, scalability and sustainability, more so as it is estimated that only 2.3 per cent of the workforce in India has undergone formal skills training as compared to 52 percent in the USA, 68 per cent in the UK, 75 per cent in Germany, 80 per cent in Japan and 96 per cent in South Korea.

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During the interactions, the industry said that they face a paradoxical situation, those with higher education entering the labour market are looking for jobs, whereas, industries are facing dire unavailability of appropriately-skilled manpower.

The Summit witnessed the participation of Government Organizations involved in Skill Development, Principal Secretaries, CEOs, Presidents, Mission Directors and Senior Management.

Christopher Gibbins, Consul General of Canada, while speaking during the inaugural session, shared that Canada is riding on the strong link between college and skill development model, which could be followed herein.

Endorsing the views of Manipal Dhariwal, Ms Veenu Jaichand, Associate Partner, Ernst & Young, the knowledge partner, said, “While we create opportunity for our youth, we need to create that kind of skill pool and most importantly, we need the industry to endorse that demand.”  A local level entrepreneurship eco-system has to be established to bring the 25 Crore non-farming youth in rural India into the skilled workforce gamut, she stressed.

CEOs of 7 National Sector Skill Councils participated in the day long deliberations which revolved around Skill India Mission: Building up the Eco-System, International Insights into Skill India Mission and Industry- Academia Integration: Bridging the Skill Gap.


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