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World Youth Skill Day 2023: India Seeks To Make Its Young Population ‘Skilled’

According to the data from International Labour Organisation (ILO), The Indian labour force is set to grow by over 8 million per annum over the coming decade, most of which will be driven by youth entering the labour market

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Every Country is known for its competency to act before the rest of the world. The capability to function promptly and effectively comes with having an energetic and mindful population that is ‘youth’. India in the whole world is known as the youngest country with 66 per cent of the population under the age of 35. This huge population of youth in India offers the country a chance to go beyond its limits and exceed its potential while also creating a responsibility in front of the government authorities to channelise their ability in the right direction. Because there is a high risk when the same energy and abilities of youngsters turn into the wrong path and create blunders for society. 

According to the data from International Labour Organisation (ILO), The Indian labour force is set to grow by over 8 million per annum over the coming decade, most of which will be driven by youth entering the labour market. In this case, the biggest responsibility lies on the shoulder of policymakers to turn this youth population into a source of capital so that they work as an asset for the country. Educating, skilling and grooming the youth is the only way for the policymakers to work on.

Under the Skill India Mission, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is implementing the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) for skill-based learning and the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) across the country. As per the data provided by the Indian Brand Equity Forum (IBEF), funds worth ~Rs. 7,279 crore (USD 977.40 million) have been issued to implementing agencies as of February 2021. 

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared the 15th of July as World Youth Skill Day in order to push countries to skill their youth population to bring the best out of them. The theme for the day in 2023 is skilling teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future.

Skill has not only become the fundamental requirement of every firm when it comes to hiring, rather it nourishes the people for sustaining in the service sector. Especially, after the pandemic when companies laying off people in order to cut their production costs, skill is the only one that helps employees to sustain themselves. 

Significance Of Skilled Youth 

As per the ILO, The total global number of unemployed youths is estimated to reach 73 million in 2022, a slight improvement from 2021 (75 million) but still six million above the pre-pandemic level of 2019. 

A country like India that consists of a huge population and has the objective to become a 3 trillion economy in the coming years. Youth can play the role of the power section to help India to achieve its vision. Commenting on the important role of skilled youth in India, Meenu Bhatia, Co-Founder & Director, (a ‘tech-enabled, human intervened' mentorship platform), said, “I believe the youth of today can be the change agent of tomorrow if they are given all the right ammunition in terms of knowledge, skills with a constant focus on attitude and aptitude. India has the largest youth population in the world; around 66 per cent of the total population (more than 808 million) is below the age of 35. Its really upon us today to leverage this pool, skill them and use this demographic dividend to boost employability, entrepreneurship and capacity development in tier 2,3,4 towns in India.”

In order to make the youth section capable enough, the education, skilling programme and employment policy need to be influential enough. Foundational learning plays a vital role in creating a firm and stable career, in this regard Manju Balasubramanyam, Principal of DPS North, Bengaluru, said, "I believe that we can give our students a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy, Socio-emotional learning, and ICT. To do this, teachers must reskill themselves with emerging tech tools to teach how children learn. While teachers across the world demonstrated that they could embrace technology effectively during the pandemic.”

Challenges In Skilling Indian Youth 

Even if the government and other state authorities roll in various policies regarding skilling and educating youth. There is resistance to bad implementation, illiteracy and a dense population to the right execution of these programmes. In the remote region or ground regions, people are not exposed to the significance of the right skills in the betterment of their livelihood. They often take loans and credit from the market but do not utilise that in skilling themselves. Though the central government has been using the advertisement and campaigning to make people aware of the importance of skilling, and also provide financial assistance to help them to make their source of income. 

Counting on the challenges in skilling the Indian young population, Amit Vasistha, Founder and CEO, MyGALF, said, “Many people are resistant to change and may be reluctant to learn new skills. This can be a challenge, as new skills are often required to keep up with the latest technologies and trends. Apart from this, There is a lack of modern skill development centres at scale in many countries. This means that people may not have access to the training and exposure they need to acquire the skills they are looking for.”

Technology A Competitor or Companion? 

The dominance of technology cannot be neglected at this time, right from primary daily needs to the advanced luxury of life, technology has an important role to play. Every sector and field has the prevalent intervention of technology. However, with the growing intervention of artificial intelligence, technology is also imposing a lethal replacement for human abilities. Whether it is a factory or compact newsroom, technology has enough competency to do every work on its own. Youth is the most affected group in the situation as the section needs money and employment, there comes the function skill that can differ human from machine. 

Ideally, technology should be used to skill and empower the youth instead of replacing them in their jobs. Highlighting the same, JB Singh, Director MOVIN Express, said, “we believe in the transformative power of upskilling and nurturing young talent to drive the future of the logistics industry. On this World Youth Skill Day, we emphasize the criticality of investing in our youth, and equipping them with the necessary tools and knowledge to excel in a rapidly evolving landscape. By empowering our workforce with advanced skills in supply chain management, technology integration, and efficient resource utilization, we pave the way for innovation and growth. In the future logistics will be driven by technology- data analytics,automation, robotics and AI will play a greater role in warehouse management, transportation and Supply Chain optimization, upskilling will strengthen the collective competence of the logistics sector.”

A nation can be developed only with the contribution of each unit of the population, the number of Indian youth is the major source of the power for the country. Along with the right set of policies and proper awareness, every vision of the country can be achieved. When the other part of the world is struggling to increase its youth population, India contains a demographic dividend. 

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