The government is reviewing existing programmes for skilling the country’s youth, with focus on digital technology. The focus will be on areas such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as entrepreneurship in the next phase of skilling from 2020-2025.
Sources told Moneycontrol that the government is chalking out a plan to have these integrated into the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), which is the government scheme to make youth employable. This will be done through the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE).
“There is a review of existing programmes. The idea is to revise the structure to include skills and courses that will be relevant for the jobs of today and future,” said an official.
PMKVY was launched in July 2015, and aims to skill 10 million people between 2015 and 2020. With that milestone completed, the focus is now to get new skill certifications on board. Close to 10 million people were skilled but exact data on number of jobs is not available. A total of Rs 12,000 crore was approved for the mission.
PMKVY is implemented by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) under MSDE guidance. This scheme has both short-term training for students who have dropped out of schools as well as long-term assessment and certification programmes to make individuals job-ready.
There are sector skill councils for each sector that map out the needs of the particular industry and relevant jobs available in the market. The idea is to design programmes that improve the chances of landing a job.
Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak, close to 10 million Indians have lost their jobs either due to the economic stress or because they don't have updated skills. Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data showed that the unemployment rate, as of October 2020, is 6.98 percent.
Here, urban areas have 7.15 unemployment rate, whereas it is 6.9 percent in rural areas. Getting upskilled or acquiring new-age skills would be one way to get ready for the employment market as job positions have slowly started to open up across companies.
What are the skills to be added?
Sources said that an industry-wide mapping will first be done to identify which skills have become outdated and which all are in demand. This will then be reviewed by the ministry and the skilling bodies to develop suitable skilling manuscripts.
For each sector, the in-demand skills and job positions for those skills with salary will be assessed and certification programmes will be developed. The government will partner with public and private institutions to impart these programmes.
Apart from the central government, each state will give its input on the needs of the local youth from an employment perspective. Jobs and skills mapping will also be done at a district level. Officials also said that in the second phase, the state governments will play a larger role from a funding perspective by contributing financially to the needs of their region.
In the initial assessment, areas like AI, ML, cyber security and data analytics have been identified high employment potential areas.
“Technology-related fields are now the major focus for new-age jobs. The work-from-home culture has only accentuated the demand for these roles, especially the ones pertaining to data privacy and cyber risks. Hence, the youth will be trained for these fields,” said an official.
He also said that since the focus is on Atmanirbhar Bharat, and key skills pertaining to entrepreneurship will be a focus under PMKVY. These include areas like setting up business and funding pitches and legal requirements.