How a focused and industry relevant skill development programme can transform the lives of individuals is best understood by the life of Amit Karmakar in West Bengal. Amit had to discontinue his studies due to the difficult financial condition of his family. He approached us at Anudip, where our academic counsellors suggested him to pursue a suitable course. Today, Amit has found a job as a Computer Operator at the Block Development Offce, Jalpaiguri after finishing his training from Anudip. The best part of the success story is that he has resumed studies and contributes to his family income.
India is at a cusp of realizing its demographic dividend given the burgeoning demand for skilled human resources globally. If the spread of population across the world is analyzed, one can draw an interesting inference. In the coming decade and beyond, the number of people in the working age globally will show a decline. In other words, there will be a growing number of ageing people worldwide who will leave the workforce for good. India, on the other hand, will face a demographic dividend due to a growing number of people in the working age – average working age of 29 years vis-a-vis 37 years in China, 45 years in Europe, 48 years in Japan (Source: Chandrasekhar et al. 2006).
However, the dividend can only be realized if the youth is adequately trained in industry relevant skills. To learn how India can leverage its asset – the growing working age population, it is important to identify and understand certain demographic metrics. These include the number of employable people, the educational status of our workforce, the existing skills gap in meeting the industry demand or the areas to focus for vocational training.
India’s employment status – people in organized/unorganized sectors
It is a well established fact backed by statistical data that the number of people in the unorganized sector far exceed the ones in the organized sector. At the same time, as one goes up the income ladder, the number of people in the informal sector show a marked decline. The sectors employing a bulk of India’s unorganized labour force are agriculture, animal husbandry, construction, transport, and domestic households among others. Although people employed in the formal sector are better organized, they are often at the receiving end of technological innovations, changing market dynamics etc. The growing number of unemployable people joining the workforce is staggering and needs to be equipped with the right wherewithal – quality courses for employment involving skill development.
Educational status of India’s workforce & the skill gap
Even as the education sector in India has grown by leaps and bounds with the setting up of numerous schools, colleges, universities and professional institutes, not much can be said about their quality of education save a handful. The graduates and post graduates churned out by educational institutions across the length and breadth of the country do not necessarily equip the students with the right knowledge and skills. This is mainly due to factors such as an outdated syllabi, inadequate infrastructure, and lack of quality teachers/faculties among others.
Consequently, people joining the workforce often find themselves challenged when it comes to meeting the industry requirements. If statistics are to be believed then a whopping 104.62 million people are expected to join the workforce by 2020 (Source: Forbes.com.) It is a matter of serious concern that the bulk of our workforce comprises people who are low skilled and less educated. The need of the hour is to align the education syllabus with fast changing industry needs. In order to bridge the skill gap that exists between the people joining the workforce and what is needed by the industry, avenues for vocational training through skill development courses should be created in right earnest.
Taking the vocational training route
Governments, both at the centre and states seem to have woken up to the reality of India’s skill and knowledge deficit and are implementing policy initiatives on the ground in the form of national skill development corporation courses. Since the delivery mechanism of the government is not fully adequate or effective in making a comprehensive impact across the length and breadth of the country, non profit organizations like Anudip play a decisive role. Moreover, since people from underprivileged backgrounds do not have the requisite financial muscle, networks, and opportunities to take advantage of the various policy initiatives, the role of organizations like Anudip becomes important. We run the best computer training institutes to impart industry relevant courses in Information Technology. Moreover, noted companies partner with us to employ people, mainly from the socially disadvantaged groups, and help transform lives.
Although India is poised to face a demographic dividend of having the most number of people in the working age, the lack of quality education and training can turn it into a potential nightmare. The time is ripe for corporates and non profit organizations to do their bit and provide people with quality training and employment. No wonder the notable non profit organization Anudip comes across as the best platform for corporates to recruit talented people in digital technologies.