Essay : National Policy on Skill Development

National Policy on Skill Development

The driving forces of social development and economic growth of any country are the skill and knowledge and countries with higher and enhanced levels of skills fine-tune more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of the world of occupation. Skill development is a term that targets those in the labour force and includes those entering in the labour market for the very first time (12.8 million), unorganized workers (433 million) and those employed in the unorganized sector (26.0 million); as per government’s report of 2004-05. With a current capacity of the skill development programs at 3.1 million, India is working towards on a set target of skilling 500 million people by 2022.

The National Policy on Skill Development envisages the establishment of initiatives for skill development with an aim of skill development in the country. This shall promote rapid and inclusive growth if supported through improved productivity and living standards of the people. It has set its vision on strengthened competitiveness of the country, high investments in skill development and increased employability of individuals.  All these shall fall in place with the adapted ability to changing technologies and labour market demands.

It sets its focus on empowering all individuals through improved skills and knowledge. It also makes the nationally and internationally recognized qualifications accessible to them so that they can efficiently get into decent employment and ensure India’s competitiveness in the global market.

All about the NSDP

For the first time in 2009, this policy was formulated to provide a framework for skill development activities in the country. There have been changes in the macro environment since then. Moreover, a lot of experience has also been gained through implementation of various skill development programmes in the country. All these factors have acted as catalysts for change in the policy. Thence, the National Skill Development Policy, 2015 was devised to supplant the Policy of 2009.

The renewed version emphasizes on creation of an ecosystem of empowerment that would be achieved through large scale and speedy skilling. The process would be further enhanced by high standards that would encourage a culture of innovation based entrepreneurship. This would thus engender wealth and employment and would ensure sustainable livelihoods for all citizens of the country as a whole. To fulfil the vision of a ‘Skilled India’ the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) was created with primary focus on human resource. Central Ministries/ Departments, State governments and industry and employers form the key stakeholders.

The Government of India has set up National Skill Development Fund (NSDF) to encourage skill development and it will be a receptacle of all donations, contribution in cash or kind from all contributors including Government, multilateral organizations and corporations. Companies will be encouraged to spend at least 25% of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Funds on skill development initiatives directly or through NSDF. To support the initiatives of loan for skilling, a Credit Guarantee Fund for skill development and a ‘National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company (NCGTC) has been set up. The fund will be used to leverage credit financing in the skill landscape.

With an aim of providing an umbrella framework to all skilling activities in the country, the policy will also align them to common standards and link the skilling with the demand centres. Besides laying down the objectives and expected outcomes, efforts will be put into identifying various institutional frameworks as vehicles for reaching the desired outcomes. Not just this, clarity and coherence to align the skill development efforts across the country with the on hand institutional arrangements will also be made available through the policy.

Thus, by linking skills development to improved employability and productivity, the policy will focus on the overall human resource development to take advantage of the demographic profile of India’s population.

Objectives of the Policy

The policy focuses on holistic growth of individuals through skill acquisition

throughout life. It also emphasizes on skill training of youth, women and disadvantaged groups and ensures that opportunities are created for one and all.

It further looks into promoting commitment by all stakeholders so that they can own skill development initiatives and develop a high-quality skilled workforce that is concurrent to current and emerging employment market demands.

It seeks to enable the establishment of flexible delivery mechanisms which can respond to the distinctiveness of a wide range of stakeholders’ needs.

It also endeavours to enable effective coordination between different ministries – the Centre and the States and public and private providers.

What are the scopes of this policy?

The National Policy on Skill Development has a wide coverage that encompasses the institution-based skill development including ITIs, ITCs, vocational schools, technical schools, polytechnics, professional colleges to name a few.

It prioritizes the training for self-employment or entrepreneurial development and widens its effectiveness to the initiatives such as adult learning, re-training of retired or retiring employees and lifelong learning as well.

It also takes significant consideration of non-formal training that includes training by civil society organizations. Besides these, formal and informal apprenticeships and other types of training by enterprises have also been paid adequate attention.

Where on one hand, it has accentuated the need of E-learning, web-based learning and distance learning; on the other hand, learning initiatives of sectoral skill development organized by variant ministries and departments have also been kept as a major tool.

Enablers of the framework

Eleven major paradigms have been outlined to achieve the objectives of skilling India, which include aspiration and advocacy, capacity, quality, synergy, outreach, mobilization and engagement, ICT enablement, inclusivity, global partnerships, trainers and assessors and promotion of skilling among women.

A nine part entrepreneurship strategy has been developed to meet the needs of entire ecosystem through conjuncture of culture, finance, expertise, infrastructure, skills and business-friendly regulation.

It will educate and equip potential candidates to early stage entrepreneurs across India.

Entrepreneurs will be connected to peers, mentors and incubators and they will be supported through Entrepreneurship Hubs (EHubs).

Entrepreneurship will be encouraged among underrepresented groups and women. Access to finance will be improved and social entrepreneurship and grassroots innovations will be fostered.

The official estimates suggest of the need of additional 109 million skilled workers to work in 24 key sectors of India by 2022.

In order to aid the Skill India mission, the World Bank has cleared a USD 250-million loan aid under the Skill India Mission Operation (SIMO) which is a six-year programme in support of the National Policy on Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (2017-23).  This programme will focus on increasing the market relevance of short-term skill development programmes that encompass 3-12 months of training or up to 600 hours of skilling.

Irrespective of the employment status, persons of age group of 15-59 will be acquiring skill training under this programme so that 1.2 core youngsters in the age bracket of 15 and 29 years entering the labour market get benefitted.

Around 15000 trainers and 3000 assessors are speculated to be benefitted through this programme.

The reskilling programme will be carried both at the national and state levels to help government of India better equip the young workforce with employable skills.

Placement and entrepreneurship opportunities to women and increasing their exposure to skill training are also the mandate of this programme. This way the government’s vision of increasing the women’s participation in the labour force and augment greater off-farm employment will be supported through SIMO. Moreover, the skilled labour force will have an enhanced employment prospect to raise their earnings.