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Government’s Role In Skilling And Fulfilling India

Creating an army of employable youth will be key to India’s aspirations of a $5 trillion economy.

By Sunil Dahiya

As India braces towards achieving $5 trillion GDP by this decade, there is another challenge, that of bridging the skills gap that exists in the country today. According to government figures, out of the 15 million youth entering the workforce each year, 75 per cent of them are not job-ready or rather, they are unemployable. According to the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate reached 34% among the 20-24 year-olds in 2019.  Global data also suggests that only 2.3% of the workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68% in the UK, 75% in Germany and 52% in the US. And as technology becomes even more pervasive than ever before, and job roles evolve, there is a strong call from the industry to the government for bridging this skills gap.

Role of Govt. 

The government has a huge role to play in revitalising the skilling sector in India. In 2015, the Govt had launched the Skill India Mission to create convergence across sectors and states in terms of skill training activities and to achieve the vision of ‘A Skilled India’ of creating an army of employable youth. Training partners were roped in to impart skill training both in urban and rural areas across the country. 300 million youth were to be given skill-based training by 2024. However, nearly 26 million youth have been trained so far.

Five Key Challenges in the Skilling Sector: 

  • Capacity building for skilling: While the nation has embarked on this long and arduous journey of skilling the youth, the availability of trained trainers and facilitators is one of the key challenges even today
  • Skilling for getting a good job vs self-employment: While the government expected that some of the trainees would create their own enterprise, little success has been achieved towards a spurt in self-employment so far
  • Skilling and employer connect: While we all believe in early employer intervention in the skilling cycle, there is a long way to go. Also, the certified candidate acceptance in the industry needs to be strengthened
  • Lack of training Infrastructure: The basic necessity of being connected with a device and minimum bandwidth is a challenge especially in the interior areas
  • Low student mobilization: In skill institutes like ITIs and polytechnics the enrolment remains low compared to their enrolment capacity.

The government plans to revamp the Skill India Mission by giving incentives instead of subsidies. One of the options is giving fiscal incentives to the private players so that skilling targets could be linked to their annual turnover and they are incentivized for higher outcomes.

The plan also includes giving stipends to students undergoing vocational education once the skilling ecosystem is linked to the school curriculum. It also includes giving loans to private players to create skills related training infrastructure at the school level.

Way forward: 

  • Policy Intervention: Government can play a pivotal role by mandating the inclusion of domain and soft skills right into the learning curriculum in schools. While the new education policy seems to be a step in the right direction, there is a need to revisit the industry-related policies for driving active participation of private sector in skilling
  • Infrastructural innovation: A beginning can be made starting from schools by making basic infrastructure available to learners and ensuring access to learning devices and providing minimum bandwidth. Encouraging the digital learning mode can help the nation to scale its skilling aspirations faster
  • Increase Industry participation: Indian Industry has to step forward and take ownership of grooming the talent by providing them hands-on learning and support in their premises and government should also look at building innovative industry supporting schemes in this direction. We need to learn from technical and vocational training/education models in Germany, Japan, Brazil and Singapore, which have faced similar challenges in the past

Source: BW Business World

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