Government to launch Skill Development Mission: Montek Ahluwalia

November 22nd, 2007 - 5:19 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov.22 (ANI): Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission, has said that the government plans to launch a Skill Development Mission to help release the latent entrepreneurial energies of the people.
Addressing the 2nd Employment Summit Employment Generation and Skills Development, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Thursday, he said if the problem of skill deficit is not addressed, there is no way we can achieve the proposed 9% growth during the 11th Five-Year Plan.
Dr Ahluwalia said that the government was working on a proposal to develop Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) through the private-public partnership (PPP) model. Introduction of short-term modular courses and issuing scholarship reimbursable vouchers to institutions that focus on skills development are the other important suggestions made by the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.
He said that the governments role is changing from that of being a vocational training provider to a facilitator and partner in employment generation and skill development. The 11th Plan has set an ambitious target of creating 70 million jobs between 2007 and 2012. Urging the CII to take up a project to rank the states on the basis of skill development, he said the stakeholders then Centre, the states and the private sector must build a consensus at the national level on the importance of skills development.
In his address, Dr Bhalchandra Mungekar, Member, Planning Commission said the entire informal sector of the Indian economy is in crisis. He said there is a need to formulate a package that enhances skills development in the informal economy, solve the problem of unemployment and increase the availability of credit for informal sector enterprises.
Although 92 percent of Indias workforce is employed in the informal sector, their educational and skill levels and resultant productivity are extremely low which hinders the sustainable development of this sector, he said and added that while we are expanding the higher education, we are not addressing the issue of developing employment skills at the undergraduate levels.
As skills development represents a key instrument to facilitating the social and economic integration of excluded groups and disadvantaged segments of the population, the specific learning needs of out-of-school and out-of-work youth and the rural poor, including girls and women needs to be addressed, Dr Mungekar said.
In his theme address, Dr C S Venkata Ratnam, Director, International Management Institute, said the country needs to re-engineer its educational institutions and strengthen their infrastructure for effective education and skills development system. He suggested mapping of skill gaps, identifying training needs and investing wisely as agenda for action. Calling for a private-public partnership to solve the problem, he urged all the stakeholders such as the states, the trade unions, local bodies and individuals to play their role responsibly.
In his welcome address, B Santhanam, Chairman, CII National Committee on HR, IR/ER said the need of the hour is creating a skilled workforce by strengthening training facilities to push the engine of economic growth. He said shortage of skilled manpower at the entry level across all sectors is constricting growth.
In his concluding remarks, Visty Banaji, President and ED (Group Corporate Affairs) Godrej Industries said increasing quality education capacity, getting above the caste, gender and disability biases, creating modular courses tailor-made to generate jobs and labour reforms with flexible labour laws would help generate more skilled manpower. He assured the government that the CII would take steps to partner the government on skill development and inclusive growth. (ANI)

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