Youth Skills for Sustaible Development
By Ranjan K Baruah
According to a recent Intertiol Labour Organization (ILO) publication, 73.4 million young people were estimated to be unemployed in 2015 (13.1% youth unemployment rate), and this figure is expected to increase in most regions by 2017. One reason for youth unemployment is structural unemployment, a mismatch between the skills that workers in the economy can offer and the skills demanded of workers by employers. Now a days many countries are focusing on skill development for achieving sustaible development goals.
Today, India is one of the youngest tions in the world with more than 62% of its population in the working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of its total population below 25 years of age. Its population pyramid is expected to bulge across the 1559 age group over the next decade. It is further estimated that the average age of the population in India by 2020 will 1 be 29 years as against 40 years in USA, 46 years in Europe and 47 years in Japan. In fact, during the next 20 years the labour force in the industrialized world is expected to decline by 4%, while in India it will increase by 32%. This poses a formidable challenge and a huge opportunity. To reap this demographic dividend which is expected to last for next 25 years, India needs to equip its workforce with employable skills and knowledge so that they can contribute substantively to the economic growth of the country.
Skill development, however, cannot be viewed in isolation. It is estimated that during the five year period from 2004-05 to 2009-10, only 2.7 million net additiol jobs were created in the country. For a skills strategy to be successful it should be complemented by commensurate creation of jobs in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors which will be a key outcome of overall economic growth including entrepreneurship cutting across all sectors. The Indian capacity for harnessing entrepreneurship has not been fully realized the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector contributes to only 17% of GDP as 3 compared to 85% in Taiwan, 60% in Chi and 50% in Singapore. Given the realities of rapidly changing economic landscape in the country, entrepreneurship opportunities have emerged as an important source of meeting the aspirations of the youth.
Skill development and entrepreneurship efforts across the country have been highly fragmented so far. As opposed to developed countries, where the percentage of skilled workforce is between 60% and 90% of the total workforce, India records a low 5% of workforce (20-24 years) with formal vocatiol skills. Today, more than 20 Ministries/Departments run 70 plus schemes for skill development in the country. However, there are gaps in the capacity and quality of training infrastructure as well as outputs, insufficient focus on workforce aspirations, lack of certification and common standards and a pointed lack of focus on the unorganized sector.
Recognizing the need and urgency of quickly coorditing the efforts of all concerned stakeholders in the field of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India notified the formation of the Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on 31st July, 2014 which subsequently led to the creation of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on 10th Nov, 2014.
The tiol Skill Development Fund was set up in 2009 by the Government of India for raising funds both from Government and Non Government sectors for skill development in the country. The Fund is contributed by various Government sources, and other donors/ contributors to enhance, stimulate and develop the skills of Indian youth by various sector specific programs. The tiol Skill Development Corporation is a one of its kind, Public Private Partnership in India, under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. It aims to promote skill development by catalyzing creation of large, quality, for-profit vocatiol institutions. Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yoja is a unique initiative by the Government of India that aims to offer 24 lakh Indian youth meaningful, industry relevant, skill based training.
World Youth Skills Day, on July 15, is one of new UN Intertiol Days of observance. It was established by the UN General Assembly on November 11, 2014 to highlight importance of youth skill development at global level. World Youth Skills Day seeks to generate awareness of, and discussion on the importance of technical, vocatiol education, training and the development of other skills relevant to local and global economy. In the past there were more talk about vocatiol training but now we are talking about development and change through skill. Skill development is not limited to only one or two sector but it is spreading across sectors and there is more opportunity for our young people to take up the courses and start their ventures or get employment in different places. It is important to work on skill development if we want to achieve sustaible development goals on by 2030.
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