Policy on national skill development to reach Cabinet soon

Policy on national skill development to reach Cabinet soon
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First Published: Thu, Aug 21 2008. 07 10 PM IST
Updated: Thu, Aug 21 2008. 07 10 PM IST
New Delhi: The final draft of the National Skill Development Policy under the National Skills Development Mission will be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval shortly, Oscar Fernandes, union minister for labour and employment, announced on Thursday.
The policy, drafted to bridge the growing mismatch between the skills of a young population and the nature of jobs they would be required to fill, aims at empowering all individuals through improved skills, knowledge and internationally recognized qualifications to enable them access to decent employment and to promote inclusive national growth, he said while speaking at the FICCI Global Skills Summit.
With Rs31,000 crore proposed to be spent over five years, the mission will look at 20 areas of growth for skill development in manufacturing and services. The identified high growth sectors include automobile and auto component, transportation, logistics, warehousing and packaging, travel and tourism, media and entertainment and health-care services.
The allocation for skills development in the 10th Plan under the Centrally sponsored scheme of vocationalization of secondary education was just Rs350 crore. In the 11th Plan document, the Planning Commission has recommended a public-private partnership (PPP) model to enable skill development through short-term vocational courses, which may range from six months to two years. The government also hopes to create 70 million jobs during the 11th Plan (2007-12), and the skill development mission is expected to train people to make the best of these opportunities. In addition, the draft Plan also proposes that companies be required to contribute to a skills development fund, to be utilized to develop skills of the socially deprived communities in the country.
The government at present imparts vocational training through 8,000 centres, such as the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and polytechnics across the nation. These, along with private sector-led institutions, will be part of the submissions that will work under the skill development mission.
Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission while speaking at the Summit said the first meeting of the National Skill Development Council (NSDC) chaired by the Prime Minister, will meet early next month to kick off the deliberations of the recently constituted Council.
He said the Council would also take a concerted overview of skill development initiatives in different ministries and departments of the central government and suggest way to share the experience and learning across various ministries.
The capacity of the national skills development system would be expanded very substantially as a national mission, he announced. It would be expanded immediately to 15 million during the 11th Plan and raised to 50 million by the end of the 12th Plan. For undertaking the massive expansion in capacity, besides current established approaches, innovative delivery models would be explored under the plan such as public private partnership, decentralized delivery, distance learning, and computerized vocational training.
Fernandes said apart from upgrading the existing government ITIs, the government has also launched the Skill Development Initiative Scheme to train one million people in the next five years and then one million every year. Under the scheme, training is provided in demand-driven, short-term courses, which are based on modular employable skills. The training cost for the successful candidates is borne by the Central Government.
The government is also working on an Employment Policy for India that would examine all the initiatives of the government and multilateral institutes and evaluate their impact on jobs.
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First Published: Thu, Aug 21 2008. 07 10 PM IST