In the year 2013, the challenging macroeconomic and political situation froze investment and hiring plans for Corporate India. The free fall of the rupee in 2013 was both a cause and a symptom of these problems. However, the unskilled graduates in the Indian population are also a major cause why Corporate India has slowed down hiring new recruits.
India's population is expected to reach approximately 1.4 billion by 2022, of which 700 million people will be in the working age population (18-59 years). As per the latest national census, 12 million graduates will join the workforce every year and it is estimated that approximately 75 million graduates will join by 2022. To meet the needs of the industry, they will need to be skilled.
With this background in mind, NSDC was formed in the financial year 2008-09 with a single agenda of skilling 150 million people in the country by 2022 by fostering private sector initiative in skill development in addition to creating private sector capacity. This is part of the National Skilling Mission that target to skill 500 million people by 2022. In 2009, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) had an existing training and skilling capacity of skilling 3.3 million people per annum. However, if India needs to capitalize its manpower, then NSDC needs to create capacity of skilling 8 million people per annum.
Many students these days lack the necessary skills required to enter the corporate sector. Societal pressure sometimes makes them enter sectors that are either not of their choice or not aligned to their skill set. Sometimes the reasons are inadequate infrastructure, poor quality of teachers or no teachers available at all. Even an outdated syllabus which does not give them enough hands on training becomes the cause of lack of confidence in the candidates, which puts them in a low light when they go for a job interview.
These results are due to the fundamental disconnect between the world of work and the world of education. There is a serious need to involve industry in defining the outcome of the skill related training program. Organizations such as NSDC have to ensure that the assessments are done in conjunction with the employers through Sector Skill Councils (SSC), which are responsible for meeting the skills requirement of that sector.
Taking the Right Steps
There is the primary need to identify which skills are required at the workplace to perform a specific task. Then with the help of industry we need to define a set of job roles and for each job role a set of competencies which will comprise of occupational standards. These will be available to the education system in the form of Qualification Packs, resulting in an opportunity to create curriculum, covering the knowledge, skills and attitude required by the industry /economy across different job roles.
As a first step, NSDC has reached out to employers and approved 29 Sector Skill Councils, which have created 2,027 Occupational Standards in 20 sectors till date. Apart from this NSDC has also approved 129 skilling proposals, creating a training capacity of 78 million by 2022. Operating at a peak capacity, these would train 15 million people annually.
In line with the objective of making India the skills capital of the World, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in its first three years of operations has skilled 1.95 million people and created a capacity to skill 78 million people in the next 10 years. NSDC is also working closely with Government of India, to provide an impetus to the skilling mission. The National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme, which is branded as STAR (Standard Training Assessment and Reward) provides monetary reward to candidates for undergoing skills training, is one such initiative.
NSDC is also implementing the National Skill Certification and Monetary Rewards Scheme, popularly branded as STAR (Standard Training Assessment and Reward). The scheme envisages a monetary reward that in essence will financially help those who wish to acquire a new skill or upgrade their skills to a higher level. The STAR scheme was launched in 2013 to motivate 1 million youth to acquire a vocational skill during the first year of its implementation.
National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), another recent initiative by NSDC is a quality assurance framework which organizes qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude. These levels are defined in terms of learning outcomes which the learner must possess regardless of whether they were acquired through formal, non-formal or informal learning.
Although the NSDC provides students a variety of skill sets, my advice to students is to pursue a set of skills which only interest them but at the same time to look at its relevance. It is also very important to understand that nothing is easy and with hard work and patience, everything is achievable.(As told to Dylan D'Sauza)
Dilip Chenoy, MD & CEO
He is currently the MD and CEO of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) which is a Public Private Partnership mandated to create, fund, enable and incentivize skill development and up gradation capacity in India. He has previously served the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) as the Director General and also has been the Deputy Director General of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII.