In the run-up to the general elections, as political parties get busy drafting their manifestos outlining plans and programs should they be voted to power, one can only hope that ‘Skill Development’ finds a prominent place in these documents. With leading political parties coming out with specifics on how they intend to approach this key subject given the importance it holds in empowering youth to obtain well-paying jobs or become gainfully self-employed.
Why do I say this?
Although much has happened in the skills arena the last decade – India now even has a dedicated Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship at the federal level and erstwhile technical education ministries/departments at states have undergone a Makeover for a greater focus on skill development – there is no getting away from the fact that a lot more remains to be done to raise the employability index of job-seekers.
Especially with a new age economy making more frequent demands on young people to quickly learn new skills, be prepared, if required, at short notice, to readily unlearn those when these no longer serve the needs of business, and thereafter move on to acquire a fresh set of skills. With those who fail to adapt to this rapidly changing dynamic left to face an uncertain future. Thereby imposing a huge challenge on youths on the jobs front with companies changing the goalposts on skill requirements every so often.
For everybody, like me, connected with the skill development sector, it would, thus, be very gratifying if the main political parties, particularly, could, through their manifestos, provide a clear direction on how they plan to transform the way skills education is imparted in India. Outlining the contours of a truly ‘Indian’ model of delivering skills, which factors in the uniqueness of a country like ours, for realizing the demographic dividend could be a great start in this regard. As our young men and women deserve to be better equipped to prosper in the continuously evolving world of work.
Speaking for Orane, I would just like to state that, as in the past, we would continue to put our best foot forward for making skills-led Growth and Development a way of life in India.
(The author is Co-Founder & CEO of Orane International. Views expressed are personal).