Urging ministers and representatives from 40 nations to make the most of a global platform aimed of youth displaying their skills across trades, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Hon’ble Minister for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE), said it is critical for governments and industry to come together to turn skilling into a ladder for economic growth for all countries. He said that nations can leverage from India’s demographic dividend and India’s youth can contribute to their growth and development. Dr. Pandey was addressing a summit of ministers from different countries at Kazan, Russia, where the WorldSkills International Competitions, a biennial event, is underway. A 48-member Indian team is participating in the competition played out over six days across trades like namely mobile robotics, prototype modelling, hairdressing, baking, confectionary & patisserie, welding, brick laying, car painting, floristry, etc.
Addressing an audience comprising government representatives of 40 other countries at a Ministers’ Summit organised along the side lines of the competition, Dr. Pandey said India is making all efforts necessary to utilise the potential of its unique demographic dividend. “India is a young nation with the median age of 27.6 years. We will have the largest working population during 2022-2034. We have adapted global standards of skilling to strengthen the young workforce with competent skills,” he said. “We have undertaken several initiatives to provide opportunities for the workforce, including prominent international recruitments to enhance their skill level.”
Participants at the Ministers’ Summit included Ms. Tatyana Golikova, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation; Ms. Olga Vasilyeva, Minister of Education of the Russian Federation; Mr. Jos de Goey, Vice President for Strategic Affairs and Chair of the Strategic Development Committee at WorldSkills International; Mr. Tang Tao, Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, People’s Republic of China, among others.
Making a strong case for India as the next skilling hub, Dr. Pandey said, “Currently, 10 million Indian youth enter the workforce every year. Upskilling and increasing industry interface to provide access to multiple skilling opportunities in a short time frame is critical. India has adopted accelerated modular competency-based programs of 200-600 hours duration aimed at enhancing the employability of youth coming out of these programs. We are also laying emphasis on industry-led apprenticeship programs so youth directly entering the labour market are trained on in-house bridge courses by industry.”
Dr. Pandey stressed that a fruitful partnership between Government, industry and academia is essential to synergize the skills and zeal of the youth.
India has collaborated with several countries to ensure a young workforce is exposed to international best practices and different working environments. In October 2017, MSDE signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Japan to initiate the Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) facilitating Indian workers to gain experience and learn from their peers in the country. TITP promotes international collaboration through transfer of skills, technology and knowledge among countries, contributing towards human resource development. NSDC has also collaborated with the Emirates Driving Institute (EDI) in the UAE. Besides setting up driver training institutes in India, the partnership also aims to address the need for quality drivers in the UAE and other countries in the Middle East.
Dr Pandey also inaugurated Skill India Pavilion at WorldSkills, Kazan in Russia, showcasing the multicultural experiences of India and unity in diversity which is the beauty of our nation. Skill development will further strengthen the bilateral relations between India and Russia.