Why India needs Government Funded Vocational Skill Training Programs

Sarika Rana updated on : 20 Oct 2016

Free training of vocational skills, investments on self –development and skill building are the most essential steps to improve the effectiveness and increase the contribution of Indian youth to economic growth. Read on!w

Government assistance to skill funded development

Skill building is the most essential step to improve the effectiveness and increase the contribution of Indian youth to economic growth.  Today, close to 50% of the Indian population is below the age of 25 giving us uncapped potential of millions that can serve the country through their skills. Skill training and retention in the organized work force solve the two issues of youth utilization and dearth of skilled manpower for the ever growing economy.

Introduction to the scale of India’s skill training need

Government of India is targeting to create a workforce of 500 million skilled workers by 2022 and the setting up of a dedicated Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) under the leadership  of Mr. Rajiv Pratap Rudy  is a concrete step in that direction. National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has been appointed as the apex body to reach the projected scale for skill development. In the budget proposals for 2016-17 in the parliament Mr. Arun Jaitley has described "education, skills and job creation" to make India a knowledge-based and productive society as one of the 'nine pillars' that would transform the country. He has earmarked a sum of Rs 1,700 crores for setting up 1,500 multi-skill training institutes in the country and scaling up Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna.

Introduction to government funded skill development projects

Skill development has always been a prominent budgeted agenda for all other central ministries too even before the setting up of MSDE. With the recent focus on this allocation of budget and attention to skill training new schemes have been added by all central ministries. All of these schemes not only provide free skill training but also other benefits such as placement support, stipends, residential facilities during the period of training, uniforms, access to the latest IT media, counseling and hand holding through a network of training providers.
Many such as the Ministry of women and child development target self-employment and small-scale industries in the unorganized and rural sectors. Training of religious minorities in urban areas is targeted by the Ministry of Minority Affairs through their Seekho aur Kamao scheme. While the below poverty live rural youth is trained under Ministry of Rural Development’s Deen Dayal Upadhyayay Grameen Kaushal Yojana. State level schemes such as the Employment linked Skill Training Programme (ELSTP), Gujarat Urban Livelihood Mission etc are also benefitting youth from marginalized section to find a way into the organized work sector.

Kishori Shakti Yojana, Women Empowerment Programme in collaboration with IGNOU, Swalamban, and many such programs are running to train the marginal societies with right skills. Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment is also training many underprivileged sections to promote employment. These are several other examples of successful free skill training projects being funded through CSR budgets of private organizations.

Why do we need these programs to be 100% funded?

India is at a very nascent stage of mass skill training and is literally sitting on a time bomb of sorts to achieve the scale that it needs by 2030. It needs to train the maximum population in next 15-20 years which is impossible without the government support in the form of subsidies, infrastructure support and other regulatory easements.

India has levelled up in the innovative index from 81 to 66 after the introduction to government powered skill training which shows the importance and positive effect of such training. Following are some of the reasons which make it imperative that skill training is imparted to the maximum population –

  • Free training of vocational skills is the only way to make it accessible to those who are living below poverty line which is almost 32% of the population of India. This segment of the population cannot afford any training and thus stay unemployed. Being unskilled draws those into the vicious cycle of unemployment led poverty thereby further distancing the entire family from the cycle education.
  • Even for those not below poverty line, generational mind sets do not allow for even minute investments on self –development and this is especially true for the girl child and women. Priorities of fund allocation have never been on enhancing skills for improving employability for majority of the Indian population. Free skill development courses will help overcome this initial barrier and quality of training and sustained success of such funded projects will help to transform the mind-set within a few years.


With key movements like Make in India, Digital India and Start-up India under spotlight it is most appropriate to widely spread the message of Skill India to supply the required manpower.  Maximum adoption of the concept and enrollment at training centers can only be achieved through the aforesaid government incentives and interventions. It is also important to note that there is a slow and steady focus on the quality of training delivery as can be evaluated from the stringencies in project implementation brought into the PMKVY 2 scheme compared to the STAR scheme (2013). Further, in order to bring about uniformity and standardization in the implementation of various skill development schemes by different central ministries and departments, the government of India has approved the constitution for applying a common set of rules known as the Common Norms Notification.

This two-pronged approach of mass popularization of the concept for maximum reach along with slow and steady tightening of norms by way of bringing in standardization and transparency through digitization the Skill India movement has a promising future towards reaching our skilled labor force goals.

Article Written by: Mansi Agarwal, CEO and Co-founder of UpSkill Management 

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