National Status of Skill Training & Entrepreneurship This ambitious goal requires an unprecedented effort and a high level of collaboration between public and private sector entities. Collectively we need to address this challenge and take concrete, bold steps towards creating large scale employment linked skills training opportunities for the youth of our country.

India is one of the few countries in the world where the working age population will be far in excess of those dependent on them and, as per the World Bank, this will continue for at least three decades till 2040. This has increasingly been recognized as a potential source of significant strength for the national economy, provided we are able to equip and continuously upgrade the skills of the population in the working age group. In recognition of this need, the Government of India has adopted skill development as a national priority over the next 10 years.

We, National Council of Vocational And Research Training aims at developing rural and urban students and thereby our Indian Economy by providing quality Vocational Training Programmes following National Knowledge Commission's recommendation.

Being home to more than a billion people and with nearly half the population below 25 years of age, India enjoys a distinct demographic dividend, which when leveraged fully has the potential to transform the country into an economic super power. However, for this the country’s largely unskilled population needs to be adequately skilled to improve their productivity and match global quality standards. Having envisaged this tremendous challenge facing the country, late Prof. C.K. Prahalad articulated in his paper “India @ 75” that India would need 500mn skilled workers by 2022.

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO) “Skill development is of key importance in stimulating sustainable development process and, can make contribution in, facilitating the transition from an informal to formal economy. It is also essential to address the opportunities and challenges to meet new demands of changing economies and new technologies in the context of globalization.” Skills development can help build a “virtuous circle” in which the quality and relevance of education and training for women and men fuels the innovation, investment, technological change, enterprise development, economic diversification and competitiveness that economies need to accelerate the creation of more jobs.

Today, India is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 62% of its population in the working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of its total population below 25 years of age. Its population pyramid is expected to bulge across the 1559 age group over the next decade. It is further estimated that the average age of the population in India by 2020 will 1 be 29 years as against 40 years in USA, 46 years in Europe and 47 years in Japan. In fact, during the next 20 years the labour force in the industrialized world is expected to decline by 4%, while in India it will increase by 32%. This poses a formidable challenge and a huge opportunity. To reap this demographic dividend which is expected to last for next 25 years, India needs to equip its workforce with employable skills and knowledge so that they can contribute substantively to the economic growth of the country.

Our country presently faces a dual challenge of paucity of highly trained workforce, as well as non-employability of large sections of the conventionally educated youth, who possess little or no job skills. As India moves progressively towards becoming a global knowledge economy, it must meet the rising aspirations of its youth. This can be partially achieved through focus on advancement of skills that are relevant to the emerging economic environment. The challenge pertains not only to a huge quantitative expansion of the facilities for skill training, but also to the equally important task of raising their quality.

National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship 2015 supersedes the policy of 2009. The primary objective of this policy is to meet the challenge of skilling at scale with speed, standard (quality) and sustainability. It aims to provide an umbrella framework to all skilling activities being carried out within the country, to align them to common standards and link skilling with demand centre’s. In addition to laying down the objectives and expected outcomes, the policy also identifies the overall institutional framework which will act as a vehicle to reach the expected outcomes. Skills development is the shared responsibility of the key stakeholder’s viz. Government, the entire spectrum of corporate sector, community based organizations, those outstanding, highly qualified and dedicated individuals who have been working in the skilling and entrepreneurship space for many years, industry and trade organizations and other stakeholders. The policy links skills development to improved employability and productivity in paving the way forward for inclusive growth in the country. The skill strategy is complemented by specific efforts to promote entrepreneurship in order to create ample opportunities for the skilled workforce.

Skills and knowledge are driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. They have become even more important given the increasing pace of globalization and technological changes provide both challenges that is taking place in the world. Countries with higher levels and better standards of skills adjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities in domestic and international job markets.

The country, however, has a big challenge ahead as it is estimated that only 4.69% of the total workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68% in UK, 75% in Germany, 52% in USA, 80% in Japan and 96% in South Korea. While the debate on the exact quantum of the challenge continues, there is no disputing the fact that it is indeed a challenge of 5 formidable proportions

In addition, the number of people who enter the work force age group every year is estimated to be 26.14 million. Assuming an average labour participation rate of 90% (male) and 30%(female), at least 16.16 million persons will enter workforce and they all, except those opting for higher education, need to acquire skills. This will add another 104.62 million persons to be skilled in the next 7 years. Thus, it can be seen that 104.62 million fresh entrants to the workforce over next seven years (by 2022) will need to be skilled. In addition, 298.25 million of existing farm and nonfarm sector workforce will need to be skilled, re-skilled and up-skilled. Thus, appropriate infrastructure needs to be created keeping in view sheer numbers, sectoral division and spatial disbursal not only across the country but possible requirement in other parts of the world.

One of the biggest challenges of skill development in our country is that 93% of the workforce is in informal/unorganized sector. Consequently it is difficult to map existing skills in the unorganized sector and gauge the skilling requirement in the sector. On the other hand, the rate of job growth in informal sector is estimated to be twice that in formal sector. Job creation for skilled youth is also a major challenge before the nation. Entrepreneurship based on innovation has immense growth potential. However, the number of local entrepreneurs emerging every year in India is very low. The Global Innovation Index 2014 ranks India 76 out of 7 143 countries. Accelerating entrepreneurship especially that based on innovation is crucial for large-scale employment generation in India. NSSO 61st Round data also reveals that the proportion of persons (15–29 years) who received formal vocational training was around 3% for the employed, 11% for the unemployed and 2% for persons not in the labour force. In order to link skills developed into actual productive use thereof including self-employment, steps will be taken in the Eleventh Five Year Plan by providing adequate incentives, not necessarily monetary but in terms of skill and entrepreneurship development and forward and backward linkages to finance, marketing and human resource management, to those who are or seek to be self-employed to enhance their productivity and value addition, making it an attractive option, rather than be an option faute de mieux as at presentations

The population growth of India has declined over many years, yet the labour is projected to grow by close to 2% or some 7 million or more per year over next few years. Modernization and social processes have also led to more women entering the work force lowering the dependency ratio (ratio of dependent to working age population) from 0.8 in 1991 to 0.73 in 2001 and is expected to further decline to 0.59 by 2011.

This transition will require India to develop workers into knowledge workers who will be more flexible, analytical, adaptable and multi skilled. In the new knowledge economy the skill sets will include professional, managerial, operational, behavioral, inter personal and inter functional skills. To achieve these goals, India needs flexible education and training system that will provide the foundation for learning, secondary and tertiary education and to develop required competencies as means of achieving lifelong learning. In economic terms vocational/employable education and training is always an investment in human capital. It only pays when the costs of the investment are at least covered by its return in the broadest sense (benefits). If the benefits of an investment in initial and continuing vocational education and training are greater than the costs, then an increase in prosperity will be the outcome for the individual and, under certain conditions, for the economy as a whole. Investments of this kind increase the GDP, promote economic development and increase tax revenues for the state individual or society.