Bridging the Skill Gap in India: NSDC

Velu the Welder is an educational aid created by TCS IGNITE in order to create interest in this profession which has a huge potential in India  and abroad with an earning potential ranging from 15,000 to 1 lakh a month. It is estimated that India faces a deficit of 2 lakh welding professional as of now.

Studies say that by 2022 the country will face a deficit of 10.3 crore skilled workers in the infrastructure sector, around 3.7 crore in the auto sector and 1.3 crore in the hospitality sector. The numbers are huge and calls for immediate and large scale efforts from the  public and the government alike .

An active National Skill Development Corporation is encouraging  a private-public partnership to address the issue. The government aims to skill 500 million Indians in a span of 10 years which means 50 million every year. This translates to around 4 million vocationally trained   and 1 million engineers every year.

Given the scale of  target  and action the state has got into to achieve it , it is  shocking  that there is  little or no effort put into  creating a pool of certified trainers at the government level. Apex government bodies train a measly number of 1,200 trainers a year. If you look at the infrastructure for training, it’s not impressive either.  The country’s largest and arguably the best training facility is in the Infosys campus at Mysore. It has a seating capacity of 14,000.

Restoring pride in acquiring skills will come when schools learn to  look beyond  syllabus. How about allowing every student pick up a skill of his choice and learn it along with regular subjects?  At one of those rare educational institutions  where skill development is given its due, that is Daly College, Indore, I met students who proudly claimed to excel in carpentry, sculpting etc. Yet the variety is limited. Would schools consider gardening, plumbing, painting, beauty courses as well for skill development?  Then  probably ,we will have a generation that values skills and those  who have them.  Then maybe  a farmer or a mason  will receive the same social status as  a doctor or an engineer.

Yes, efforts are on.  However, a serious attitudinal shift has to happen in the society. What APJ Kalam did to teaching as a profession was raising its value by several notches through his self- proclaimed pride in the job. This has to happen to several other professions. Then perhaps, a father would not protest when his  “highly educated ”son  chooses to become  an Ola cab driver!!!

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