I take this opportunity to place the current status of skill development efforts in Odisha on behalf of the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha. I would also like to outline some proposals before this August Audience for consideration and inclusion in the Vision Document for skill development.
Government of India has hada focused approach for skill development and employment of youth and put in place several initiatives. This Sub-Group of Chief Ministers has also been constituted by NITI Aayog with a view to mainstreaming skill development efforts in the country. These efforts are in right direction.
Government of Odisha has also accorded very high priority to skill development to create opportunities for gainful employment of youth of the State. Odisha mounted an Employment Mission, called “Odisha State Employment Mission” under the chairmanship of Hon’ble Chief Minister in the year 2005-06. In August, 2014, the State launched the “Chief Minister Employment Generation Scheme” with a vision of skilling 11 lakh youth in Odisha. This includes 9.3 lakh youth in rural areas at the rate of at least 150 youth in each Gram Panchayat and 1.7 lakh youth in urban areas.
Challenges in Skill Development
However, skill development is a challenging task. Several challenges have been experienced by all states. Some of these are listed below:
- Limited manufacturing ecosystem adversely affects demands for skills by potential employers. This also considerably reduces opportunities for hands-on training, apprenticeship and employment.
- The country faces acute shortage of qualified trainers and assessors.
- There is a lack of robust third party assessment system and certification by agencies acceptable to industries / trades.
- Most skill training institutions have obsolete equipment and follow outdated courses.
- Training providers are generally not willing to invest in training infrastructure including workshops, equipment and tools.
- There is a mismatch between job offers and number of people being trained.
It may be advisable that Government of India takes lead in addressing such challenges and liberally support the efforts of State Government in this regard.
Proposals for Improving the Impact of Skill Development Efforts
The key aspect of skill development initiatives should be to help people in working age groups to acquire skill which are needed by businesses and industries currently and in the future. Therefore, the following proposals are submitted for consideration of this August House and for inclusion in the vision document for skill development.
- Periodic skill gap studies should be undertaken to identify the demand-driven sectors and the deficit in formal vocational and technical education may be bridged through skill development programmes.
- The issue of shortage of trainers and assessors both in numbers and quality needs be addressed by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship on priority basis.
- The issues like soft skills, communication skills and post placement tracking need to be taken care of.
- Sufficient flexibility should be given to states to modify the guidelines of Central Skill Development Schemes to suit local needs.
- The National Open School as well as State Open Schools should provide skill based training courses in combination of distance and class room mode in collaboration with other competent institutions.
- Government of India shouldpromote National and State level Skill Universities which will work in close co-ordination with relevant industries, training and academic institutions, Sector Skill Councils and Government agencies.
- Uniform procedures should be formulated for implementing skill development programmes by different implementing Ministries / Departments. This may include the need for a common platform for mobilisation and counselling of youth for skill development, pool of trainers, industry tie-up for placements and captive training, common web-based software to prevent duplication and empanelment of assessors, and certified trainers to ensure quality of training. Aadhar data may be utilized during mobilisation to capture details of potential trainees.
- Private sector including industries and trades should set up state of art skill development centres.
- All District Employment Exchanges should be converted to Model Career Centres under National Career Service Programme which shall be the single point of contact for counselling, soft skill training, linking to Programme Implementing Agencies (PIA) for hard skill training and enabling placement through local industries / trades and other potential employers.
- There is also need to set up Migration Support Centres at major placement hubs to facilitate candidates for better retentions and career progression opportunities. This will also help post placement tracking of trainees.
- Every block should have an ITI and vocational training facilities may be strengthened at sub-divisional level.
- Government of India may empanel International Partners through transparent bidding process for collaborating with states for setting up of Multi Skills Development Centres (MSDC) with sharing of funds.
I also urge that the Chief Ministers’ Sub-Group should strongly focus on MHRD institutions such as AICTE, NCVT and UGC to develop strong technical contents in the school vocational education.
At the end, on behalf of Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha, I highlight some of the recent initiatives taken by the State Government. The Hon’ble Sub-Group may find them of some interest. These initiatives of Government of Odisha are discussed below:
- We have already recognised importance of strengthening skill development institutions. The Government of Odisha has taken a decision to implement a five-year Advance Skill Training Institute (ASTI) Programme to establish 8 ASTI in a hub-and-spoke model to cover 30 ITI bycommitting over USD175 million (Rs.1015 crore). This will not only link world class Finishing Schools-cum-Production Centres to ITIs,Engineering Colleges, Diploma holders in the State, but also provide career oriented courses. These centres will also impart skill training to youth in various sectors under Government of India and the State Government under umbrella programmes. The Odisha Skill Development Society has been constituted and an ADB team iscurrently in the State to finalise the Detailed Project Report (DPR). ADB has agreed to lend USD 110 million in soft loans.
- Government of Odisha has decided in principle to create a large group of technical experts including retired ITI trainees and form assessment groups under the supervision of the State Council of Technical Education and Vocational Training (SCTE&VT). After due accreditation from DGET, this group will address shortage of skill assessors. They will attend to third party agreement.
- Government of Odisha is geared to establish ITI in each sub-division of the State during the current financial year 2015-16. We have also implemented 72 Skill Development Centres (SDC) which will take care of the shortage of training infrastructure and where PIA will impart skill development training under various State and Government of India programmes. Each SDC costs about Rs.75 lakh to Re.1 crore and the State Government has already committed this from its own resources. The State has also spent Rs.57 crore to establish six Institutes for Training of Trainers (IToT).
The meeting chaired by Chief Minister, Punjab & Chairman, Sub-Group of Chief Ministers Sri Prakash Singh Badal was attended by Chhatisgarh Chief Ministr Dr. Raman Singh, Gujurat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, representatives of other Chief Ministers along with CEO of Niti Ayog Sindhushree Khullar and Odisha’s departmental Secretary Asit Tripathy.