By Y.S. RANA , CHANDIGARH—When northern region comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and J and K is reeling under the highest rate of unemployment, Paramjit Singh another Himachali stepped in to articulate the prime minister’s national skill development vision in the Tricity and is all set to take it to whole northern region . He came up with unique solution “SMART” vocational training programme for plus two pass out students that can bail out the youth and the States from unemployment.
Jammu and Kashmir tops the list of unemployed youth with 10.5 per cent followed by Himachal Pradesh with 7.5 per cent. On the other, Haryana has 5.2 per cent unemployed youth compared to Punjab 5.8 per cent and Chandigarh 2.8 per cent.
While talking to Paramjit Singh, Principal Director of (RCED), told that recently he has started a centre in district Kangra where 30 students were being skilled in various courses. Next month, a centre would also be set up in district Solan. Three more such Centres would be opened in districts Una, Hamirpur and Sirmour. During this fiscal, 23 such Centres would be set up in Punjab (10), Haryana (10) and J and K (3), revealed Mr Singh.
Mr Paramjit Singh, belongs to Bilaspur village near Haripur Guler in District Kangra, has started the initiative with 85 students at his Regional Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (RCED) in Chandigarh last month in association of Teck Mahindra. Training is being provided free-of-cost. By the end of this year, around 250 students will be skilled in various courses at the Centre. Though, the initiative is on a small scale yet he prepared a roadmap to expand the area of operation of “SMART.”
“When these Centres become fully operative, 500 students in 12 courses will be skilled at each centre very year,” said Mr Singh. At present, 1243 students are getting skill development training at various Centre across the region. The NSDC has given the target to skilled one lakh students in 10 years which was under reach, optimist Mr Singh said.
Aims to support the cause of ‘education to employment’ students would be provided 3-month skill development training free of cost. Besides, they will be groomed in information technology skills; spoken English and communication skills along with personality development and job readiness for potential employers for immediate placement, added Mr Singh.
In association with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the Centre will form sector skill councils. The Centre is also working on sponsorship basis with Tech Mahindra and the Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh skilling the youth. The Centre would provide hand rolling support to those who opt for self-employment up to setting of own business and others would provide wage employment. The RCED has close tie with CII and 50 plus big industrial houses those used to assist in placement of skilled candidates, stated Mr Singh. The Centre has over 70 per cent success rate of placement.
He further stated that though the training was proposed to plus two pass out students even postgraduates and B.Com students were also registering themselves with the Centre for skill development and added that he was surprised to find that majority of such students belonged to rural areas and of poor families. He feels that skill level and educational attainment of the workforce is the key to productivity as well as employability in the changing industrial climate
Mr Singh also revealed that the Centre has received demand for skilled hands in various fields from 15 companies. Besides, trainees would be groomed in information technology skills, spoken English and Communication skills along with personality development. All the trainees would be provided employment after completion of training, said Mr Singh.
He admitted that there was a dual challenge of developing skills and utilizing them in a proper way but the vision of the prime minister would go a long way in the coming years. It is estimated about 50-70 million jobs will be created in India over the next five years so this additional employment avenues will require proper vocation training. The present skilled workforce in India is only two per cent which much lower compared to other developing nations.
While the Economic Survey has shown the cause for concern, such steps will enhance employability among the youth.