Our education system has for long encouraged the rote system of learning where everything is learnt conceptually and the application of the same concept in practical terms takes a backseat. In today’s world, lack of proper education and training restricts people from the opportunities for self-advancement by limiting their access to well-paid employment. Eventually, this prevents such individuals from making an influential contribution to economic growth. Thus, adequate education quality and training are recognized as fundamental ways of breaking down the eco-system of poverty. Similarly, our education system is definitely helping the youth of this country to become literates, but is not building their skills to make them employment ready. Our education system provides a platform of knowledge where students have to take that extra effort to turn the acquired knowledge into applicable ideas.
The youth of the country, once they complete their education, go out in search of jobs. Once they acquire a good job, they apply their learnt knowledge practically. Here, they are assisted by their company to acquire relevant job skills through training that could be both generic as well as customized for their own company. So, knowledge plus training to apply the knowledge becomes a set of skills acquired by the person. These skills are further polished as the person gathers more experience at his job area. So mastering one’s acquired skills makes a person an expert in his chosen field. But this kind of skill acquisition and skill building is more reachable to the cream of the population. It is not reachable to the masses and this is the ugly truth of our nation. People in the urban areas mostly get absorbed into companies of their choice based on the knowledge and skills they have acquired together with relevant experience, thus helping them build a good career of their own.
But the people in the rural areas may not necessarily have access to these super facilities and may thus lack in skills required to make them employable. India is the largest democracy in the world and villages are where the bigger chunk of the population lies. So, when development focuses only on cities and leaves out the rural areas, it is actually missing out on a valuable treasure of skills that could be brought to the surface to shape the future of India. Every person is gifted with his own skill set, which when recognized, trained and applied becomes an asset to the country. Our government has taken many initiatives to cater to a wide class of people in helping them build their skills and upgrade their knowledge, to take our country to greater heights of development. When a toddler starts observing adults around him, he tries to do them on his own by trying many times by himself. This art of observation leads the child to attempt to start walking, talking, eating etc. This is how a child picks up skills from his surroundings. Similarly, adults also have a bunch of knowledge embedded in their brains. It is only with proper training that these could become skills that may be used in employment, growth, jobs etc. The requirement of the day is to properly guide the youth towards skill building so that they become assets for the country’s future. The youth of this country possess good ideas, if when implemented could turn our nation into a superpower someday. But to provide them a platform and direction where their skills could be moulded, trained and applied, they require help and assistance. The youth of today are encouraged to think above their school and college curriculum and acquire the market-relevant skills which make them job-ready and provides wide choices in employment. Our country is also encouraging public-private partnerships in preparing the curriculum for training packages, both at the college level and at job areas to achieve world class expertise in skill development.
These days we have heard of boot camps where specific skills are targeted to a larger audience to help them achieve expertise in their chosen fields. Skill loans are also being funded and thought of as a prospective scheme by the government to achieve up-gradation of learnt skills at the higher level to promote interest in research and development. In keeping with these views and developments, the areas of education, employment and skill building have become prominent features of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funding platforms.
The development of a country is reflected in its GDP and this rise can be positively affected only when the country achieves overall development in every phase of growth. Our country has a youth population in majority that helps in promoting the welfare of the nation. A national Policy on skill development has been undertaken by the government to look into individual growth and employ-ability index and to see an upsurge in making the youth of this country job-ready and to help them keep pace with the changing face of science and technology. To help the youth contribute to the country’s growth and development, we have to upgrade their skills through necessary schemes and partnerships and provide them platforms to showcase their talent on a global level.
India has a literacy rate of around 78%, which is less than some of the least developed countries, and when it comes to employability, only 45% of them are employable. Literacy is not just restricted to education but even broadens to the concept of skills, which comprises technical expertise, vocational skills, transferrable skills, digital skills, and other such knowledge and abilities required for employment and livelihood. According to a survey, only 35% of the Indian workforce has undergone a skill development program, and India needs a higher number of skilled work forces. The India Skill Report 2023 reveals improvement in overall employability among young people, increasing from 46.2 percent to 50.3 percent this year. Additionally, the employable women workforce has risen significantly to 52.8 percent, surpassing the employability rate of men at 47.2 percent. This positive trend bodes well for India’s economic growth, as leveraging the nation’s demographic dividend could lead to doubling the GDP by 2030
We must acknowledge the ability of our youth and extend our support by furnishing them with the proper guidance, infrastructure, opportunities and encouragement to go after their ambitions. With the right direction, their passion, skills, sharp critical awareness of the contemporary world and the enthusiasm to play a decisive role can significantly benefit in transforming the world into a better place.
“Education, vocational training and lifelong learning are central pillars of employability, employment of workers and sustainable enterprise development”.
“The more we give importance to skill development, the more competent will be our youth. We need to give importance to skill development because this way we can end unemployment.”……………………..Narendra Modi
(M Ahmad is a regular writer for this newspaper and can be reached at email@example.com)