National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) have launched roadshow ‘Skill Connect’. The roadshow intends to enhance awareness and participation of industry in the Skill development agenda with a special focus on apprenticeship.

Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan, launched the roadshow ‘Skill Connect’ in New Delhi. The roadshow will aim to drive awareness about various skilling Initiatives of the state and Central government and is a step to supporting industry associations in proactive efforts towards building an industry-ready skill force in India, especially under the Apprenticeship Programme. Skill Connect is expected to provide a platform for the sharing of best practices, both globally and from associations. It will seek to gather inputs about the current availability of skilled manpower at cluster levels.

The Road Show will be rolled through a series of workshops and seminars in more than 20 locations across India. The participants to the workshops would include the local/regional industry associations, companies, the state and the central government, and training partners.

Launching Skill Connect, Dharmendra Pradhan said, “To achieve a higher growth trajectory we need a more productive skilled workforce. National projects like Make in India need makers in India. While Germany has a three-layered education system where industry and government work closely with each other and 70% of contribution is made by the industry. India has maximum investment from the government exchequer. The emphasis on quality manpower is only when it comes to personal services but not when it comes to the industry. There is a generic mindset issue where we usually compromise on the workforce efficiency to save on cost. We need to address this behavioural pattern of the industry and start investing in our country’s youth which will create the New India of our dreams.”

The minister further added, “India has an abundance of natural resources, tremendous knowledge capacity and a huge captive market. Unless we create quality workforce we cannot realise the benefits. We can be self-sufficient if we tap the right opportunities and skill our own workforce to bridge this demand and supply gap. Apprenticeship is one the most sustainable model for addressing the issue of unemployment and employability. I urge the industry to come forward and leverage these reforms and contribute to the economic growth of the country.”

Director General, CII, Chandrajit Banerjee said, “Right from pushing for Amendment in the Apprenticeship Act to encouraging Industry to engage apprentices, CII has been working towards supporting both ends of the spectrum. At CII we understand that there is a great need for hand-holding of industry particularly MSMEs to participate in the Apprenticeship Program and towards this, we are giving a 360-degree hand-holding support to the ministry.”

Programme Director (Private Sector Development), GIZ India, Mr Noor Naqschbandi underlined the importance of the road show, hoping to attract more participants from the industry in addressing the cooperative VET. The Indo-German programme on Vocational Education and Training (IGVET) focuses on developing cooperative VET models based on the experiences gained in industrial clusters. Through this roadshow, IGVET intends to strengthen the cooperative VET as an important part of the ecosystem.

He wished the roadshow a great success, particularly in attracting the willingness of more industry associations and companies to participate in cooperative workplace-based vocational education and training (VET) and promoting the understanding of youth that cooperative workplace-based VET is a promising opportunity to start the professional life and achieve a good standard of living.

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