The nation of India had been languishing from a huge skill gap until the recent past as the number of employable youths trained under the relevant industrial disciplines was far less than desired. This would have been a huge emerging crisis as India is a nation, currently on the verge of realising its demographic dividend, by virtue of which the country reaps the advantages of huge economic benefits by a surge in its working-class youth population.
Therefore the Government of India as well as the National Skill Development Corporation and the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has worked in close conjunction with over 200 giant, medium and small-sized industries and educational institutions and brought forward the necessary reforms. The Government had introduced amendments to the archaic and obsolete Apprenticeship Act of 1961 and laid the foundations for the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme in August of 2016. The Central Government also led the National Skill Development Corporation to perform synergistically with various statewide Skill development bodies and continuously upgrade young talented individuals by imparting necessary skills and intricacies of various trades.
Top Upcoming trends of Indian Skill Development in 2020 : The significant upcoming trends that will highlight the Indian Skill Development industry in the upcoming decade starting from 2020 can be summarised below.
- The surge in employability – About 46.21% of students were found employable or suited to take up jobs and good professions in the year 2019 as compared to the 33% employable students in 2014. This surge in employable options for industries is going to continue its uppish trend with the introduction of necessary reforms and development of student-friendly environment. Female employability also witnessed a huge growth to 47% in the same year as compared to 38% in 2017. Nationwide surveys and corresponding data analytics suggested that Andhra Pradesh was the state with the highest number of employable youths followed by West Bengal and Delhi. This surge in the number of employable youths throughout the nation is going to continue in 2020 because by 2020 the Government has planned on creating at least 50 lakh employable apprentices annually who can be employed in various indigenous and foreign industrial operations.
- Development of Technical skills and employability in the corresponding sector – The technical and technological education has continued its upward climb in India and there has been a proliferation of engineering and other technical graduates over the years. The close association of apprenticeship training with end of degree and diploma programs which has been initiated is developing the practical skills of the graduate students about the functioning of the industries. Thus both degree and diploma engineers have the highest employability rate with Electronics and Communication Engineering and Information Technology being the disciplines with a maximum number of employees.
- Development of jobs based on specialized skill set – Though the employability of BE and BTech engineers dropped from 51.74% in 2014 to 49% in 2019, it is not a phenomenon to worry. The number of engineering graduates has amplified to a vast amount and though the integration of Artificial Intelligence and Automation is leading to the loss of jobs; it is also creating vast requirements of employees equipped with the relevant knowledge and dexterities. With the approach of 2020, it is evident that the employability of BE and BTech engineers is going to increase with the continued integration of newer technologies in business.
- The skill development initiatives through research and development funding – After 115000 lengthy and extensive meetings and discussions, the Ministry of Human Resources and Development shared the draft of the National Education Policy in June 2019 and it is soon expected to be turned into an act. The NEP is unarguably the best piece of educational reform that has been made in the subject of higher education across the nation, that will inherently support skill development and focus at the root of higher education and result in the increase of employability standards of graduates from different streams after being equipped with the relevant skills and competencies that will lead them to emerge into successful professionals in their desired field of work. This draft was prepared by a group of nine experts led by space scientist K. Kasturirangan and recommends the development of a multi-disciplinary higher education system and a simplified educational system where there will be an enhanced emphasis on the professional, humanities and pure science streams. The universities will be characterised as public, private, private-aided, multi-disciplinary research universities and as comprehensive teaching universities all of which will undergo segregation of accreditation as well as funding and regulation roles for the regulators. The NEP draft suggests the increased engagement of private sector establishments armed with the necessary infrastructure to provide the practical on-field knowledge and training to the students in a simulated workplace environment and provisions by the government bodies to fund research and development work through a proposed national fund. The beginning of the new decade starting from 2020 will see an increment in the gross enrollment ratio from less than 30% to more than 50% across the span of a few years, and even advised the incorporation of newer and leaner technologies to achieve this process faster. This draft also aims to bridge the incumbent gap between research and training and development of industry-specific skills by doubling the expenditures on higher education to almost 6% of the GDP and it will be executed in the upcoming years.
- Development of avant-garde skills to facilitate the proliferation of Startups – The industry body of the NASSCOM foundation has developed an initiative to upskill and provide relevant skill-based training to at least 4 million youths by 2025 through its Futureskills Initiative. The entire year of 2019 has seen in the increase of the startup culture through the establishment of at least 1300 new startups which has taken the total number of the country’s startup to lie between 8900-9300 and is gradually consolidating its position as the world’s third-largest and positively impacting startup ecosystem. These startups have already created around 60,000 direct jobs and 1.3 to 1.4 lakhs of indirect jobs and this conducive environment is going to continue its growth in 2020 due to favourable government policies and rules. At least 18% of the total number of startups are leveraging on deep technology and trying to integrate these emerging technological trends like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, internet of things, blockchain and virtual reality and hence emphasis is being laid to provide the advanced degrees of skill to the candidates seeking their entry into the core operations of the startups.
These, in short, can be deemed as the summary of the skill development initiatives and their effects which are going to continue into 2020 and convert India into an economically developed nation with a massive boost in the number of dextrous and competent youths tutored in industry-specific fields, to drive excellence in their relevant sectors and take them forward.