National policy on skill development in the pipeline

April 21st, 2009 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 21 (IANS) A national policy on skill development, approved in February by the union cabinet, was Tuesday said to be a key force in linking education and skill training to ‘employability’ and increasing ‘functional literacy’ in the country.
Addressing a session at the National Conference on Education - 2009 held here at the Le Meridien Hotel, on the theme ‘Linking Education to Employability’, Sudha Pillai, secretary, ministry of labour and employment, pointed out that skills development had to be made an essential part of the educational framework.

She also highlighted that the national level policy on skill development would focus on this.

“This is important as skills have a direct correlation with improved productivity and economic well-being. Also, increased emphasis on skills development and vocational training would help us empower the large number of school dropouts and unorganised sector workers,” Pillai said.

A major policy initiative in this regard, Pillai said, was the national policy on skills development or the national skill development mission. “It was approved by the Union Cabinet in February. The policy aims at empowering all individuals to enable them to get access to decent employment and to promote inclusive national growth. Further, the policy promotes public-private partnership to ensure that the needs of the industry are met.”

Pillai refused to divulge further details about the policy’s implementation because of the ongoing moral code of conduct for elections but assured that implementation “would begin soon”.

Vijay Thadani, chairman, CII national Committee on Education and CEO, NIIT Limited, said that the CII had a vision to achieve complete functional literacy in the country by 2022 and to have a globally employable workforce of over 700 million people, including 500 vocationally skilled people.

According to T.K.A Nair, principal secretary to the prime minister who was also on the panel, improving the quality of education and providing equal opportunities to everyone, especially with regard to functional literacy, were the major challenges that the country faces.

In this context, he said it was important that “…we upscale the ongoing public-private partnerships, like those of the industry adopting 600 industrial training institutes, to ensure that social inclusion becomes a reality.”

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