The current scenario of West Bengal is tremendously prospective if considered from the economic point of view. About 60% of the entire population of the state is below 40 years of age and therefore this calls for tremendous opportunities for growth as far as the workforce is concerned. The major imperative to achieve this is the provision of requisite training and development of required skills in the workforce so that they can utilize these skills and bring about the massive growth in productivity as well as the financial bottom line of the companies they are employed in. Though the present data is a little distressing as West Bengal is lagging behind other Indian states in the matter of reinforcing the workforce by skill development, the state is catching up quite steadily to exploit the scope of engaging the skilled workforce in the core operations of the industries.NAPS is one of the schemes that is helping WB grow its industries.
Challenges encountered in imparting effective skill training to the youth of the state :
The Ministry of Technical Education and Training of the Government of West Bengal identified key areas that have proved troublesome and have provided impediments in successfully imparting skill training and relevant education to the youth of the state. These areas can be summarised below.
- There is an abject requirement of innovation in the financial department that would result in efficient loan policies for the recipients of the skill training and education, particularly those who languish in the Below Poverty Level of the society. This cannot be written off though, because, without the provision of fees, the sustainability of the skill training and education programs would become doubtful.
- The need for Skill Gap studies and analysis is imminent across the state which would result in identifying the aspirations of the youth and also result in the provision of demand-driven skill training. This would also have a positive impact on resisting the immigration of skilled and knowledgeable workforce to other states in search of prospective career opportunities.
- There is an immediate necessity in spreading awareness across the youth to get trained as well as across the industries to employ and engage the skilled workforce. The industries are rampant in hiring workers without the necessary skill certification whereas the youth are also reluctant to pay for their skill training programs. Thus it is essential to develop an environment where both the skilled workers and the industries can thrive mutually in the state.
Skill development in West Bengal :
The majority of the working population of West Bengal that amounts to at least 40%, belongs to the age category of 18 to 25 years. The Government of West Bengal has put immediate focus on inclusive growth and the objective is to achieve that through extensive skill development. The few methods of achieving skill development are :
- Craftsmen Training
- Technological and technical assistance training
- Short term non-technical training oriented programs and etc
The skill development courses in West Bengal are designed in such a way that the gap between technological advancement can be meted out and it is looked upon not as any business opportunity or CSR activity but an urgent need for the overall development of the youth of West Bengal.
Ways in which Skill Development missions in West Bengal can achieve a maximum impact :
- The fastest growing industry all over India, as well as West Bengal, is telecommunications and exciting opportunities exist in the skill space corresponding to the telecom industry. It is estimated that at least 20,000 technicians are required annually to provide solutions to all the consumers across the state. Hence Skill Development is a promising industry across the State.
- A synergy between Skill Training providers and the State Government is of utmost importance which is imperative to foster economic growth.
- Talent has to be identified from rural and less developed regions so that necessary skills imparted in them result in their economic betterment as well.
The Skill Development programs currently in effect in West Bengal :
The Government of West Bengal is emphasizing a lot on skill development programs across the state. Few programs can be enumerated below.
- Paschim Banga Society for Skill Development
- Technical Education Training and Skill Development department of the Government of West Bengal
- West Bengal State Council of Technical and Vocational Training and Education
The skill development jobs available in the market like development manager to medical representatives is a testimonial to the slow and steady growth of the economy of the State. Skill Development initiatives can be deemed instrumental for this kind of progress.