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To Boost Employability, Schools to Have Skill Development Training from Class 9

By: Rounak Kumar Gunjan

Edited By: Nitya Thirumalai


Last Updated: July 13, 2018, 11:08 IST

Representative image

Representative image

Students can now opt for skill training in Class 9 and opt out in Class 11 or choose to continue. Alternately, they can also commence the training in Class 11, says Jayant Krishna, Chief Operating Officer of National Skill Development Council.

New Delhi: With employers complaining of lack of skill in potential entrants, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), in close collaboration with National Skill Development Council (NSDC), is working on making skill development training viable in schools.

Students can now opt for skill training in Class 9 and opt out in Class 11 or choose to continue. Alternately, they can also commence the training in Class 11.

In a conversation with News18, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NSDC Jayant Krishna talks about the importance of skill training to acquire jobs and how the Centre is making efforts to increase the penetration of NSDC.

Edited excerpts:

Close to a decade since NSDC was setup, what have been the major hits and where do you think you have lagged?

Since inception, NSDC has trained more than 1.65 crore people under various government-funded schemes as well as under the fee-based model through its funded and non-funded partners. More than 230 active NSDC training partners, both funded and non-funded, have created a network of around 7,000 training centres. More than 6,000 training centres have been accredited and affiliated on the SMART portal.

In addition, NSDC has catalysed the creation of 38 Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) to establish connect with the industry and design occupation standards and training curriculum as per industry requirements.

NSDC also implements India’s flagship training scheme Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), which is completely funded by MSDE.

More than 450 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKKs) have been established across 27 states and Union Territories.

NSDC and SSCs have also initiated an ambitious apprenticeship programme for optional trades with a pro-active reach-out to the industry in order to make the youth more employable.

Do you think it is time India makes skill training compulsory in schools?

There is a Ministry of HRD scheme for Vocationalisation of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education. The vocational education is imparted from Classes 9 to 12 in composite government secondary and higher secondary schools.

There is a bucket list of 73 NSQF aligned job roles across 19 sectors. Each school has the option of selecting two job roles in two sectors. Students are enrolled in Class 9 and exit in Class 12 with a NSQF level 4 qualification. The implementation model is being revised in 2018-19 with duration of the trainings being made two years. Students now have the option to enrol in Class 9 and 11 and exit in Class 10 and 12, respectively. The new model provides an option for the students to get trained and certified in two job roles along with regular academics from Class 9 to 12.

NSDC has been formally engaged to provide technical assistance on the scheme. More than 7,700 schools have been covered and around 6.5 lakh students benefit from the scheme every year.

On an average, how many individuals go on to find jobs after getting trained by NSDC? What is the kind of training that attracts most number of jobs?

NSDC has given the mandate of 70 percent placements to its funded and non-funded training partners. Over the years, over 50 percent placement has been captured on our IT platform for these funded and non-funded training partners. However, actual percentage has been higher because many placements are not reported or tracked due to time lag between certification and jobs or self-employment.

In addition, some candidates also opt for higher education despite having job offers. In PMKVY also, the placements have improved substantially after job aggregation efforts, career fairs, job portals and linking of payments with placements.

Do you think automation is taking away jobs in India? If yes, what role does NSDC have to play in mitigating the gap?

To encounter the challenge of automation, NSDC undertakes reskilling of the existing workforce on upcoming technologies to prepare a future-ready workforce. Along with SSCs, NSDC has embarked upon a journey to identify and develop job roles related to Future of Skills in next-gen technology areas, e.g., Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality, Big Data & Analytics, Robotics, 3D Printing, Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing and Cyber Security.

These future technologies will be instrumental in shaping the new age job-roles across various sectors. As part of this exercise, NSDC has identified sectors where these cross-sectoral QPs & NOSs will be implemented, namely IT-ITeS, Automotive, Electronics, Telecom, Agriculture, BFSI, Capital Goods, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Media & Entertainment, Retail, Tourism & Hospitality, etc.

Do you think the large corporates have a role in skill development and thus improving job attrition rate as well? What, according to you, went wrong on that front?

Large corporates play a very important role in skill development. In NSDC eco-system, corporates are involved in giving inputs to SSCs for designing training occupation standards, curriculum and courseware, as well as in delivery of training. Corporates like Tata Strive, Ambuja Cements, ICICI Foundation, Reliance, HCL, Future Group, Apollo Hospitals, Bharat Forge, Asian Paints, Mahindra, Shriram, Tech Mahindra Foundation, Lemon Tree, Hero Group, etc. are an integral part of NSDC’s training partner network and actively deliver quality training outcomes.

Some of the large corporates like Maruti Suzuki have also been roped in to establish corporate PMKKs. Not just this, big MNCs such as Toyota, Schneider, St Gobain, Maruti and Tata Motors are also involved in training candidates and preparing them for the WorldSkills (the skills Olympics) competition.

Apart from this, NSDC has a Corporate Social Responsibility wing for engaging corporates in the Skill India mission and leverage their CSR funds in skill development. Various models have been set up under which corporates can participate in the Skill India mission.

Is NSDC partnering with large nations in the recent future? Have other nations expressed interest in the model?

NSDC is working with some countries to cater to their skilled manpower requirements. For example, NSDC is implementing the Japanese Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) under which trained individuals from India are being sent to Japan for on-the-job training (OJT) for maximum period of 5 years. NSDC has also signed MoU with Business Sweden, Swedish Trade and Invest Council to develop innovative models of engagement in developing a skilled work force in India, matching the needs of Swedish companies. NSDC is also partnering with Stockholm Chamber of Commerce to initiate a pilot project to meet the requirement of IT & Telecom professionals in Sweden.

In addition, India International Skill Centres (IISCs) are being created to train individuals as per the international standards to make them employable in foreign countries.

Some developing African countries have shown interest in India’s skill development model. For example, under the Partnership for skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET), countries like Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, etc. are interested in adopting several constituents of India’s skilling ecosystem such as setting up of SSCs, adopting NSQF, setting up an organisation like NSDC, etc.

How important a role can NSDC play or is playing in improving employment scenarios in India?

NSDC is focusing on state-wise, district-wise sector specific skill gap studies to identify the industry demand for skilled professionals. The intent is also to create better training infrastructure based on job roles identified by industry and deliver trainings as per industry’s requirements. In addition, SSCs are being encouraged to set up technology-based job aggregation portals to understand corporate requirements and enable the TPs to train and provide skilled professionals as per the requirement.

A framework for State Skill Development Action Plan is also being worked out for state governments.

(This interview is part of News18's ongoing series #OnTheJob)