Skilling the Youth- A case for active involvement of Chambers of Commerce
Skill India is an initiative by the Government of India and vigorously pursued by both the central and state governments. Agencies like National skill Development Corporation, NSDA and NSIC have undertaken several steps and designed strategies in place for the purpose. These initiatives are the result of realization that on the one hand, we have huge population that needs jobs and business opportunities and on the other side, there is great demand for skilled hands to work. This demand is from the industry. It is important to note that demand for skilled hands is not only from India but also from abroad. Many western and developed economies have ageing population and therefore require skilled hands to meet their needs.
While this initiative is from the government, there are instances where private and public sector establishments crafting their own strategies to train the youth before employment or after employment. In this article, a case is made for an active facilitating role for the chambers of commerce in addressing skill shortage prevailing across the sectors. Each district would have at least one chamber of commerce or an association,
Catch them Young!
So far the approach has been one of adding skills after the formal education. That is to say, addressing the problem after finding it. There is always a lament from the industry that graduates entering the industry are not strictly ready for taking up jobs. They are aghast that they have to do what the college or educational institutions must have done as part of the curriculum or method of instruction. Educational Institutions have their own compulsions of staying afloat financially and therefore, go by the four corners of syllabus based education. This is where the disconnect begins and the sufferers are industries and of course the youth. It is really disheartening to hear that an engineering graduate after four years of study is unable to find a job or can find job that fetches few thousands of rupees or worse being forced to take up jobs that has no correlation with his study. A simple solution would be attaching the youth even as they are in the colleges to industries on part time basis to get trained and work.
If the college youth are to be trained in commercial and industrial establishments, it is imperative that as much as possible to find such places near their place of study. Otherwise, youth may find the distance as an excuse to avoid training just as they may do with their classes. Therefore, mapping of local area is essential in this process.
Stakeholders and facilitator
In this entire exercise of skilling the youth, stake holders are corporates, commercial and business establishments of all categories, educational institutions like colleges both engineering and arts and science streams, polytechnics and industrial training institutes, parents and the youth and education and industries department of the local government. A careful look at the lists of stakeholders would reveal that all of them work as independent silos each having its own objectives in mind;
at times, their approach may be crisscrossing with each other. It is here a Chamber of commerce being a trade and industry body and an NGO can very well play the role of facilitator in connecting the dots of all stake holders.
Aptitude of the Youth
It is very important to find the interest of individual student for a particular job; a person may detest the very idea of being a sales man, another may be creative but lack consistency in pursuing it, another individual may be adept in doing what is assigned and he may fix his mind to finish his job come what may and some other could be peoples’ person interested in synthesizing with others. A near perfect approach is available in the form of DGCS test. DGCS stands for
Deliverer, Governs, Creative and Synthesizer. The test administers a series of questions to an individual which when answered present him the domains in which he can be a fit. This profile mapping is essential so that the student is directed to the organization of the domain; it suits the organization also as it has to train the individual who is interested in the field.
|Those who deliver results under all circumstances.||Those who stick to the rule book and ensure full compliance in all that they are expected to do||Those who are visionaries and creative; knows where the Organization has to be in the future and believe they can lead you there||Those who can Synergize, Motivate and Hold Teams together in the onward journey.
|All Sales related jobs / Customer Service / Outbound Tele-selling / Manufacturing Line where productivity is critical / Delivery Jobs / Bank related jobs etc.
|Accounting assistant / Administrative assistant / HR Executive / Administrative specialist / Business Center supervisor / Equipment controller / etc
|Fashion Designers / Choreographers / Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers / Art Directors / Architects / Landscaping / Fine Artists / Painters / Sculptors / Entrepreneurs etc.
|Executive Family therapist / Hospitality Industry / Tourism / NGO or Social worker / Schoolteacher / Preschool teacher / Teacher assistant / Nurses etc.
(The list is not exhaustive and the complete list is available on request. For reasons of space, the complete list is avoided)
Hours of Training
Ideally, an individual should spend in industrial establishments at least half the time that he spends in classroom. At the moment, a student spends on an average 25 hours in classroom study in a week. Therefore, going by the formula, he should spend at least 12 to 13 hours in a week. The hours spent should be substantial during semester holidays. Of course, this should be optional at the instance of individual students.
The attendance at the corporate must be earmarked and sent to the educational institution as well as to the facilitating chamber. At the end of college study, preferably at the time of convocation, the Chamber of Commerce should also confer the student with a certificate of training. At least in future, the certificate of training must be mandatory for any employment either in the corporate or even in the employment exchanges.
Commencement of Training
The right time for commencement of training is second year for the arts and science courses, third year for the engineering course, second year for the diploma courses and second month for the polytechnics.
Who is to foot the bill?
What are the costs involved in the process outlined above? There are likely to be costs associated with:
01.Administration at the facilitating agency- the chamber of commerce
02.Costs of mapping individual’s profile
03.Transport costs from the Institutions to Industry.
04.Costs of training
There is likely to be some costs associated with administration of this scheme at the chamber. There must be a set up of at least 3 people- one senior level and two assistants. The costs may be around Rs.50000.00 per month. Colleges have to recover this money from students at the time normal fee collection and remit it to the chamber. Similarly, costs of mapping must be met through fee from the students by the colleges.
Transport costs from college to industry and back to drop points of students have to be met by the colleges.
Finally, training has to be given free by the corporates. They should consider this act of training as their social responsibility. But with training, trainees start to contribute too.
In the end…
A nation exports its surpluses. Needless to say, India has enough manpower to serve the whole world. It is often said that, India has been dominating China for the past 2000 years without even sending a single soldier across the border. We exported Buddhism to china that is being practiced there till today. With population dividend at the moment, India has a working population that can take jobs to serve the world community. But this is possible only if the youth are skilled for jobs. The rise of India will be inimitable as happened in the past; truly, India can dominate the mind space of world community through peace, love and understanding.
R R Padmanabhan
Foreign Trade Sub Committee
Andhra Chamber of Commerce.