Skill India was one of the major projects of our Honorable Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he rallied for his party in the year 2014 general elections. But even at the commencement of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the aim is far from being achieved. The dynamic, determined “Skill India” campaign which aimed at skilling 40 crore Youth by the year 2022, has been trailing a snail-paced development towards accomplishing this target.

The advantages of an ever-growing economy are often demonstrated in the increasing number of well-paid jobs in a country. Subsequently, any policy that inspires and encourages the economy to grow, has a deep impact on job creation as well as the overall employability of the country’s personnel. India finds itself in a context today where the young population is entering the workforce each year. To make the most of the demographic dividend, it is crucial to improving the employability of the youth.

For this very purpose, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was set up to take the task of coordinating all skill development efforts across the country. This involves the removal of the disconnect in between the demand and supply of skilled workforce, creating a vocational and technical training framework, developing new skills and innovative thinking, not just for existing jobs but also for employment that are to be created.

As per a recent study conducted by “Young India and Work” by the Observer Research Foundation and WEF (i.e. World Economic Forum), a whopping 70 percent of the Indian youth isn’t even conscious about these schemes. The survey was carried out for the age group of 15 and 30, out of which about 6,000 youth were engaged where they were asked about their employment, education, as well as their aspirations.

The study brings to light the potential discrepancy not just between youth and government, but also between youth and industry. It also underlined the lack of connections between the state-run skill development courses as well as youth sentiments. The survey findings depicted that almost, three-fourths of the youth in our country have never enrolled themselves for a skill development program promoted either by the central or state government. The reason for this sluggish rate of participation can be attributed to financial and time issues.

Additionally, the findings also revealed that 76 percent of the respondents reported having shown interest in opting for skills development training. The respondents identified the character traits of attractive skills programmes as monetary compensation, moderate time commitment, certification, and a mix of traditional classroom and online content.

SThe youth today prefers the public sector as they think that it is an ideal provider for skill development opportunities, in comparison to the private sector. Around 51 percent of the youth defends that the main hurdle in searching for a desirable job is actually the lack of professional guidance in determining and diagnosing jobs that match their skills. In comparison to their male counterparts, more female respondents expressed their keen interest in participating in skill development courses.

The report also brings to light that in the framework of technological adoption and digitization, tasks and jobs, along with the expertise required to execute them, are changing. 86 percent of youth feels moderately up to date with changes in skills requirements. Yet, 39 percent of youth feels prepared for their ideal job, while 16 percent of youth feels either not prepared or extremely unprepared for their ideal job.

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