According to CII’s India Skills Report 2018, 62 per cent of India’s 1.3 billion population falls in the working-age group of 15-59 years. The World Bank estimates that India will add more than 12 million youth between the ages of 15 and 29 to its labour force each year. While these statistics underscore the size of India’s human capital, the World Bank report also discloses that only 2.3 per cent of India’s total workforce has received formal skills training, leaving millions unsuitable for employment.
The gap between unemployment and employability can be bridged through skilling for livelihoods and jobs, and that is the intent of the Tata Trusts’ Skill Development portfolio. The Trusts’ programmes are designed to promote livelihood opportunities through education and practical training, with the overarching aim of enhancing the country’s competitiveness and economic development.
As one of the world’s fastest growing economies, India’s requirement of skilled people is unparalleled. With 12 million joining the workforce annually, this youthful population can contribute to industrial productivity and fuel our economic growth and. If India fails, this large dissatisfied population could pose an economic and social challenge. Hence, skilling youth and linking them to a livelihood is a national imperative. The Tata Trusts have always been firmly embedded in solving challenges faced by the community, hence skilling for outcomes namely – employment, entrepreneurship or community enterprise in both the formal and informal sector has been the purpose of the skilling initiative. Addressing the twin challenges of both quality and scale has been the aim of Tata STRIVE — the skill development initiative of Tata Trusts. A model built on innovation in pedagogy and methodology while leveraging technology, provides the necessary foundation for scale. Hence, India needs to skill young people with ‘Right Skills for the Right Job’.
India’s education system leans heavily on theoretical learning; practical training aspects involving ‘working with hands’ and ‘learning by doing’ take a backseat and book knowledge is rarely supplemented with industry training. For students who drop out of the educational system — primarily in rural India and for economic reasons — there is inadequate infrastructure for industry-relevant skilling. This is one of the main reasons for India’s demand-supply mismatch where industry lacks a skilled talent pool, and youngsters cannot get jobs.
The other is the rapid strides that India has taken towards the adoption of technology. The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) technologies across industries is changing the employment landscape and transforming people’s roles and functions.
The fears surrounding automation’s alleged contribution to unemployment are somewhat allayed by the surge in demand for skilled labour. India’s skill gap analysis reveals that by 2022, the 24 key sectors of the economy will generate a demand for 109 million skilled workers. This is especially observed in sales functions, and in unorganised sectors such as those engaged in the business of leather, textiles, fabrication, servicing of automobiles and electronic appliances, etc, where the role necessitates a human interface, and where automation can never completely displace humans.
Clearly, what is needed is a mature skilling ecosystem that includes infrastructure, faculty and industry participation to ensure sustainable livelihoods and long term income generation.
The Tata Trusts have been investing in skill development under the umbrella brand of Tata STRIVE, which was set up in 2014 to skill India’s youth for employment, entrepreneurship and community enterprise.
Our work is distinguished by our emphasis on the professional development of training faculty, sharing of our assets, tools and technology, and continued engagement in research and advocacy
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