Article: India lags in skilling: Santosh Kumar Choubey


India lags in skilling: Santosh Kumar Choubey

Santosh Kumar Choubey, Chairman & Managing Director, AISECT

Over the years, the skill gap has become a growing concern. India is lagging behind developed countries and even countries like China, when it comes to skilling. Only 2% of our workforce has formal vocational skills. Further, it is estimated that to benefit from the demographic dividend that India boasts of, an additional 250 million people need to be skilled by 2020. Be it technicians, sales officers, retail staff, banking operations staff, data entry operators or office assistants, the infrastructure required for training such a huge mass is currently not available.

The Indian skilling sector is still very un-evolved as compared to the scenario in other Asian countries, let alone as compared to the West. One of the biggest challenges is a yawning gap between skill providers and skilled manpower recruiters. There are hardly any conversations between the industry and the skilling organizations, resulting in largely unproductive outputs. The certification of skills and the placement of skilled workforce, especially into the unorganized sector, is also a huge challenge. Lack of awareness amongst the youth with regard to demand in skills and where they can skill themselves, is also a problem.

As an organization, AISECT is primarily engaged in the areas of skill development and training, development of models and teaching methodologies to strengthen the non-formal education sector, services dissemination across semi-urban and rural India and execution of large e-Governance projects for the central and state governments, all of which are aimed at achieving an objective of addressing the skill gaps pertinent to the emerging needs of a rapidly growing economy. We are targeting the unorganized sector as a whole. Within this segment the roles of office assistants, data entry operators, cashiers and salesmen among others are the most in demand. Our courses classified under the sectors of IT, hardware & networking, BFSI, teacher training and retail, are designed in such a way that a person can handle any of these functions with ease.

Based on the requirement an individual will need to do short-term skilling programs of duration varying between 1 month and 6 months, which costs anywhere between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 4,000. In case of a student who has enrolled himself for a course, he needs to pay for the skilling. There are government skilling projects where a grant is given to the executing agency and the agency skills the student against this grant, thus the student need not pay anything.

AISECT’s skill development programs and the organization’s presence in district and block level places, ensures that the target youth trained by AISECT fulfils the need of the industry by taking up jobs at the entry level in the industry and even adding to informal employment in the unorganized sector. AISECT has recently also tied-up with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) with an aim to skill about 1.3 million youth within 10 years. Right from government departments like Rural Development and Information Technology to several corporate players, we have been instrumental in helping organizations in up-skilling their field force, providing on-ground training support and conducting awareness generation programs as well as entrepreneurship development programs.

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Topics: Skilling, C-Suite, #HRIndustry

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