India has the unique advantage of demographic dividend of its working age population as compared to the developed countries in the world. The demographic dividend can provide a comparative advantage and competitiveness to the economy. The government has been taking proactive efforts to fill the existing gap and skilling person-power in order to reach at an advantageous position nationally and internationally.
The currently size of India’s formally skilled workforce is 2 percent whereas smaller counties like South Korea and Japan skilled workforce size is 96 percent and 80 percent respectively. Skilling workforce and using it in productive work is a great challenge before us because the skills if not used are lost. India has a shortage of skilled workforce. The shortage is attributed to lack of a formal vocational education framework, with wide variation in quality, high school dropout rates, inadequate skills training capacity, negative perception towards skilling and lack of Industry ready skills even in professional courses.
Sluggish growth of employment is a cause of concern which is evident from the fact that the CAGR of employment was decelerated to 0.5 % in the year 2011-12 from 2.8 % in the year 2004-05. Besides change in environment status and unemployment status of the population, there has been structural changes across the sector which is evident from the fact that the share of the primary sector in total employment has declined from 58.5 percent in 2005 to 48.9 % in 2011-12 whereas it has been increased in the secondary and tertiary sectors to 24.3 % and 26.8 % respectively in 2011-12 from 18.1 % and 23.4 % respectively in 2004-05.
Efforts towards Skill Development
It is not that no efforts have been made toward skilling person-power in the country. Some of the recent initiatives taken in this regard are the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan, Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme (TEQIP) and National Skill Qualification Framework. A Exclusive department of skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been created under the Ministry of Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports to zero in on quality skill development and innovations in the country.
The government has a target for training 10.50 lakh youth and giving placement to 7.87 lakh candidates under Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Koushalya Yojana (DDU- GKY), a placement linked skill development Scheme for rural poor youth.
National Skills Mission
India has historic opportunity to transform its demographic surplus into a demographic dividend. In a series of governmental effort, National Skills Mission will has been launched by Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Ministry with the purpose to consolidate skill initiatives spread across several Ministries and allow government to standardize procedures and outcomes across 31 sector skill councils.
To conclude, National Skills Mission would converge the efforts of different ministries and missions to bring synergies in process for better outcomes. Convergence would be the main mantra to harness the benefits of different stakeholders at macro, meso and micro levels.