India is currently experiencing a ‘youth bulge’, with around[a] 66% of the population being under the age of 35. This is considered a window of opportunity of growth, which is attainable only if the majority of this population is highly skilled. Thus, skill development schemes are necessary to equip India’s youth with quality, employable skills.
The Skill India Mission was set up to attain the goal of nurturing the skills and talents of the urban and rural youth. By 2022, it has offered market-oriented skills training to nearly[b] 40 crore Indians. Most skill development schemes now come under the Skill India Mission and are managed by different entities.
Key Schemes Under the National Skill Development Corporation India (NSDC)
The NSDC is a unique example of a Public Private Partnership Company, with both sectors coming together to solve a shared issue. It was set up with the aim to develop the skills landscape in India, in order to meet the growing need for skilled labour.
These are the skill development schemes offered by the NSDC.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
PMKVY is the flagship skill certification scheme implemented by the NSDC. It offers free short-term skill training to unemployed youth and school/college dropouts. Under various modules in this scheme, training centres offer courses in:
- Financial and digital literacy
- Training for special job roles in government
- Training to develop existing skills
The programs under this scheme[c] are affiliated to the central and state governments and may be for a period of 3, 6 or 12 months, according to the subject. On successful completion, you get a government certification valid anywhere in India.
Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendras (PMKK)
A PMKK is a state-of-the-art, aspirational model training centre, equipped to provide advanced industry-driven courses. The aim behind these centres is to shift the short-term training approach into a long-term institutional model. A PMKK in every district helps retain focus on skill development for employability.
Pre-Departure Orientation Training (PDOT)
Training under PDOT is aimed at educating the workers migrating to other countries. It covers lessons on the language, culture, safety and welfare practices, legal procedures and more of the destination country.
The Udaan scheme aims to provide skill training to the educated, unemployed youth of Jammu and Kashmir. Trainees will receive[d] a ₹2,500 stipend every month during the 3-6-month training period. Successful completion involves an interview with a corporate, directed at job placement.
India International Skill Centres (IISCs)
An IISC provides certifications benchmarked to international standards. If you are interested in opportunities abroad, you can apply to market-driven courses provided by these centres by paying a fee.
Technical Intern Training Program (TITP)
This program facilitates skill and knowledge sharing between India and Japan. Selected candidates are sent to Japan on professional internships. After 3-5 years, candidates have to return to India and apply the acquired skills in assigned projects.
Apart from those provided by the NSDC, there are many notable schemes which address the skill development and training needs of the country. Some of these are:
- SANKALP (Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) which makes available high-quality skill development programs to marginalised groups
- Craftsman Training Scheme (CTS) which provides vocational training for developing craft and trade skills
- Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS) which is dedicated to adult education
NEDFi’s Role in Accelerating Skill Development
The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd or NEDFi is an NBFC founded with the aim to catalyse industrial development in India’s North Eastern region. It offers financing to MSMEs and corporations planning to establish developmental projects in this region.
NEDFi has various loans and schemes available for infrastructure, industrial, and agri-allied industries which MSMEs and corporations can use.
A few offerings made by NEDFi are schemes such as:
- Working Capital Loan Scheme
- North East Entrepreneurs Development Scheme
- Equipment Finance Scheme
Along with striving to recognise and financially support commercially viable industries, NEDFi also aims to promote entrepreneurship through skill development.
Financial Support Available for Trainees
Most skill development schemes are government-supported and free-of-charge. However, sometimes training centres may charge certain fees, to meet costs and continue providing quality workshops and programs.
If, as a trainee, you need financial assistance to afford such training, you can consider making use of the Skill Loan Scheme.
The Skill Loan Scheme offers credit to candidates of skill development courses who have received admission in recognized institutions. No collateral is required for this loan, and you can avail between ₹5,000 and ₹1,50,000, for up to 7 years[e].
Benefits of Training Under Skill Development Schemes
Skill development schemes offer training in job-building skills, in trend with the ongoing and future demand. This opens up avenues for employment, which leads to better economic conditions and stable incomes.
These are other benefits of training under such schemes.
- Allows exposure to international-level workshops and certifications through courses which are mostly free
- Helps bridge the huge gap for skilled labour
- Provides mentorship to budding entrepreneurs as these schemes encourage self-employment and many times extend financing to past trainees
In a densely populated country like India, opportunities are limited and highly competitive. Usually, employers pick highly skilled candidates from the applicant list. In such a scenario, skill development schemes can equip you with market-relevant skills and help secure employment.
Once you have been adequately trained in a marketable skill, you can also consider self-employment.
In conclusion, such schemes empower you with the necessary skills and training needed to succeed. There are many schemes available, from which you can choose the one best suited to your skills and talents. Utilise such schemes to join the skilled workforce, and reward yourself with better employment opportunities, and in turn, a better quality of life.