The hilly northeastern state, Meghalaya is embarking on a skill development program covering 196,000 youths to stem escalating unemployment and un-employability. "We are attempting to train at least 196,000 youths during the 12th Plan period (till 2017). We have identified the major thrust areas where our youth can be employed within and outside the state in agriculture, horticulture, livestock farming, masonry, plumbing, food processing, sericulture and weaving, and soft skills," says Mukul Sangma, Chief Minister, Meghalaya. The government has also plans to run Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode to guarantee employment within and outside the state.
The aim of the program is to have their presence beyond the district headquarters and the community blocks so that they can reach out to more youths in the state. Sangma also assures that the training will not be city centric.
"One of the major concerns is the implementation on the ground. You may have a great strategy, but unless people deliver within a period, the impact will not be there. We have to take implementation very seriously," says National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) Chairman S. Ramadorai.
Moreover, the Meghalaya government has decided to sign memoranda of understanding with 10 companies to initially train around 28,000 youths. The government will pay the course fee, ranging from Rs.21,000 to Rs.25, 000 for each of the trainees. The courses, which carry certificates or diplomas, vary from three to six months.