Empowering the Next Generation of Thinkers on World Youth Skills DayTransforming youth skills for a brighter future, one center at a time
We’ve often heard India referred to as the world's youngest country, on account of having the largest youth population in the world. The age group of 13-35 years makes up about 40% of the larger Indian population, which provides us immense opportunity to harness the demographic dividend for economic growth.
However, these numbers do not translate well when it comes to the number of youth actually joining the workforce. Studies show that the overall youth employability in both urban and rural India stands at 48.7%. While this is an improvement over last year’s 45.97%, it still means that almost 1 out of every 2 youth in the nation is unemployable. This skill gap reveals how important it is for our youth to have access to the resources and training they need to enter the workforce.
As a nation, we need to ensure that our youth have the right opportunities at hand to be able to grow into successful young entrepreneurs, businessmen, tradesmen and office holders. About 68% of our youth population resides in rural areas, where the penetration of vocational training is concerningly low. Priority focus needs to fall on these sectors, all of this young talent needs to be carefully harnessed through skill development programs, policies and grants that can ensure that every youth in the country has the opportunity and resources at hand to realize their full potential. After all, the future of our country, and its economic growth, lies in the hands of this generation of fresh, young minds.
This is the very philosophy based on which World Youth Skills Day is celebrated, on the 15th of July every year. An initiative started by the United Nations, World Youth Skills Day aims to drive conversations around the importance of equipping young people with the skills they need for employment.
This year, the theme decided on by the UN is ‘Transforming youth skills for the future.’
Bridging the skill gap
At HCCB, we place emphasis on driving employment opportunities for the underserved youth of the country. Since 2011 we have launched 4 Career Development Centres in Telangana, Odisha, Maharashtra, and Karnataka. Most of the youth who enroll in these centers come from rural and semi-urban areas. They often lack the skill set required to enter a formal work environment. HCCB helps bridge this gap by providing them with learning opportunities and training them to prepare for job interviews.
In the past, we have also extended our support to rural women by setting up self-help groups that offer vocational training, such as teaching the art of crafting jute bags.
Gearing up for learning at Nemam, Tamil Nadu and Kheda, Gujarat
Plans are in place for setting up 2 more Career Development Centers in the Kheda district of Gujarat and in Nemam, Tamil Nadu.
The centers will offer training targeted at imparting basic skills such as data entry, retail and inventory management, job readiness training, BPO, spoken English, personality development, social networking, internet of things, cyber security, and digital literacy. The aim is to impart all the necessary skills to the youth that will make them employable and prepared to enter the workforce.
The duration of the skill-building courses will range from one-week courses to up to 4 months. The center is to be equipped with modern facilities, such as desktops with internet access, a well-stocked library, and audio-visual learning aids to foster an optimum learning environment. Recognising the need for both in-classroom learning as well as practical learning opportunities, the courses will offer a balanced mix of both by incorporating industry visits and group activities into the curriculum.
We dream of a world where young talent never has to worry about employment, where the youth has the skills that they need to take their place in this world. As we expand our Career Development Centres in the country, we are inching toward making this dream a reality.