Shrinking jobs: NSDC plans to support entrepreneurial projects

The Ministry of Skill Development and NSDC emphasise to focus on self-employment and development of entrepreneurial abilities.

Enter Jayant Krishna’s guest room and you would see two paintings hanging on the wall, both oil painted by him while studying in school abroad. With knowledge of carpentry, gardening and tabla, Krishna is aptly the chief operating officer of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). Krishna is concerned about the country’s ability to churn out new job openings which are effected by the latest technological advancements such as automation, artificial intelligence and robotics. On the other side, he is quite hopeful about the arrival of new type of jobs openings.

“Automation in manufacturing, will not churn as many jobs as required. Services sector including IT, telecom,banking, finance and insurance would also be effected due to technological advancements but not as much havoc as it would cause in the manufacturing sector,” he said.

 The Rate of job creation has definitely come down, Krishna noted. “We were creating about 10 lakh jobs per month, 1.2 crore jobs per annum and that is not happening now.About eight to nine people out of every 10 jobs are in informal sector but these jobs are not well paying, not much aspirational and very uncertain. Certainly, while imparting skills, the bigger challenge of getting a decent job still remains.” While the aim of NSDC is to place about 70 percent of the trained people, it is unable to achieve placements beyond 50 per cent of the trainees. “Our goal of 70 per cent placement is achievable and we are putting efforts,” said Krishna.

Data on NSDC sourced from a Right to Information,published by media reports reveals that of the 8,00,145 candidates trained through non-scheme skilling pro-grammes in 2016-17, just 48.4 per cent or 3,87,762 candidates got jobs. Similarly in 2015-16, of the 13.55 lakh students skilled, just 46.9 per cent or 6.35 lakh got jobs. 

NSDC’s chief executive officer (CEO) Manish Kumar says the country has entered one of the most exciting phase and India is on the window of reaping demographic divided. In the life time of every country, this window comes in 50 years. India’s period started somewhere around 2005. In China, it started in 1980 and in 1960 in South Korea. “Whenever the growth will shoot up, we will have right talent mix available which will boost our position inhuman capital index as our country would enter into anew growth curve,” Kumar said while claiming that the efforts to skill people in India are aptly timed. Kumar has over 24 years of experience of spread across various roles with national and international Institutions including Secretary to Government of Tripura - Power & Home Departments, UNICEF and country coordinator, water and sanitation program at the World Bank.

The Ministry of Skill Development and NSDC emphasises that it is not possible for all students who get skills training to get jobs. The focus should also be on self-employment and development of entrepreneurial abilities. “ Though we are well poised to take on the skill eco-system forward, we need to engage states and go down to the bottom of pyramid. Probably, we are now touching middle of the pyramid. But bottom of pyramid is totally different game. So the people who does not get job should be given entrepreneurial opportunities. We are working on how should we create field that supports,” Krishna pointed.

 NSDC, which is one of its kind, public-private partnership which aims to promote skill development by catalyzing the creation of large scale sustainable businesses by involving the private sector in the vocational training space, has realised that India is too big a country to deploy similar skilling technique across states.“Think India as a continent. The skilling model applied to Kerala may not be applicable to Bihar Hence, we need to innovate and adapt models in localised context,” Kumar said.

Corporation is also emphasising on bringing more women into workforce. “Women workforce participation is extremely low. We also want to think about employability of women as they are the agents of change. If firms are led by them, they will be at natural ease of making disruptive policies for women and attract more women in workforce through those policies,” Singh explained while adding that concept of creches at work-place won’t come in mind of male leaders but women leaders can think about such concepts quite naturally.

 NSDC has also partnered with Amazon India to drive digital literacy among women entrepreneurs in Nagaland. The initiative will enable them to sell their products internationally. Amazon’s Project Saheli aims to empower women entrepreneurs by enabling them to use Amazon’s platform to showcase and sell their products using Amazon’s marketing tools to tell their story. NSDC aims to create capacity in terms of large and quality vocational training institutions, fund entities interested to operate in the skill development business and create an enabling environment for stakeholders in the ecosystem.

This article was published in BW Education issue dated 'April 7, 2017' with cover story titled 'BW Education Inaugural Issue April-May 2017'

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