NREGS may be linked to skill development

September 30th, 2011 - 6:43 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 30 (IANS) The central government’s flagship rural employment guarantee scheme NREGS is likely to be linked to skill development programmes that would empower unskilled workers to get better jobs, an official said Friday.

“Skill development has to be linked to NREGS to achieve the real objective of empowering unskilled people,” Jayant Krishna, who works in the office of the advisor to the prime minister on skill development, told IANS on the sidelines of a conference.

Krishna said the National Skill Development Council has been pushing the integration of skill development with NREGS.

Under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the government guarantees 100 days of manual work every financial year to each rural household, when demanded. The legislation was enacted in 2005.

Addressing the second national conference on skill development organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Krishna said instead of providing manual work, people in rural areas should be empowered to find jobs themselves.

“We don’t want people to be dependant on such schemes forever. They should be trained to find jobs themselves,” he said.

Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Employment Sharda Prasad said the budget on skill development schemes should be increased to make it available for the common people.

“Once we impart skills, we empower the people to negotiate and get better jobs,” Prasad said.

He said all rural and urban development and employment programmes should be linked to skill development to make them more meaningful.

“In order to make these programmes socially and economically more useful, it should be integrated with skill development,” Prasad said.

The CII organised the skill development conference in association with the ministry of labour and employment. The theme of the conference was “Towards Sustainable and Scalable Skill Development.”

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