India is known to possess a significant demographic dividend due to its large and growing population in the 15 to 59 year age group estimated to be upwards of 600 million currently. This large working age population can make a significant contribution to the country’s growth provided it is equipped to be productive. Currently, only a very small proportion of India’s workforce has any formal skill training. Not surprisingly therefore several sectors of the country’s economy face shortage of skilled people and are mired with low productivity levels due to poor quality of workforce.
At the same time, large sections of the country’s youth are looking for economic and livelihood opportunities. In this context, skill development has become a key priority area for the country. This is not only essential for economic development, but would help to fulfill youth aspirations for good quality, better paid jobs and self-employment opportunities. This would also enable the country to take advantage of its favorable demographic profile. With a large pool of skilled people, India has an opportunity to become a skill provider for the world, particularly the ageing developed world. It is estimated that there will be this target of training 500 Mn people by 2022 that means a fund of Rs 21,000 Cr annual spending in vocational training every year up to 2022. Given the magnitude of investments that will pour into the sector, there is need to bring forward key players who has a grassroot understanding of the sector and have requisite skills to engage in the sector. Local grounded organisations with good outreach base in terms of sourcing candidates need to join this workforce and position themselves as skilling institutes to take the initiative further.
It was at this juncture, we at Reach India felt that along with the regular skilling programme that we are doing, re-skilling or up-skilling, we need to make efforts to build leadership and communication skills amidst the youth communities. We integrated life-skills approach in our skilling vertical to create youth leaders and nurture a youth resource centre, which will enable them to bring change at their family level as well.