Sunday, September 24, 2023

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    The Need of the Hour Is Skill Development (There’s Simply No Other Way Out)

    We’re the second most populous country in the world. Chances are soon we’ll take over China to become world’s most populous country. This is a serious concern for the country and for the countrymen – that is you, I, all of us.

    The silver lightening is that we also happen to be one of the very few countries with abundance of youth population. And there’s a lot we can do if we can guide this young population and make it workable.

    The sad thing, however, is most of our youngsters aren’t skilled enough to take up jobs right after their schools or colleges. And what adds to the woes is the centuries-old mentality of parents and even educators towards alternative learning and employment sources, which is vocational or industrial education.

    The society, it seems, hates the very idea of learning and making careers in vocational or industrial sector. But time has come when we all have to develop a receptive mindset to look at the opportunities that lie untapped in this sector. We have to accept that people doing blue collar jobs are very much integral to the socio and economic ecosystem in which we live and grow. And we have to educate our children in at least one or more vocationally oriented courses.

    Just look at the world – this very year, NSDC, a government formed skill development organisation, led a group of very talented youngsters to WorldSkills International Competition in Brazil, where the Indian team won 15 medallions of excellence.

    There are several skill development training companies that have done commendable work in this direction. Some of these training companies themselves are reaching out to schools and colleges to train the teachers and students there. They have the experts who know how to excite kids and make them try their hands in one or other skill. By the time these kids pass out of their schools or colleges, their employability quotient has grown up and they are eligible to enter industries where their learned skills fit the most.

    We cannot do much about the way we’re growing in population (some awareness programs might help a little) – but what we are really capable of doing is skilling our youth. That’s something that we can do. That’s something we have to do, else we will fail as a country that is so aggressively putting itself up on the world stage as the next big thing.

    Sridharan Sharma is an irreverent writer who writes on diverse subjects. To read more of his articles and blogs on skill development training and employability skills training, stay connected.

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