Odisha to amp up ‘skilling’ vision

By Our Reporter
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REACH Odisha Team
REACH Odisha Team

State delegation visits Australia partner with training organisations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi aptly said that “Our youth are our strength…the world and India needs a skilled workforce”. India’s mission to target 400 million people by 2022 presents a huge window of opportunities, said D K Singh, IAS, Commissioner-cum-secretary, Panchayati Raj Dept, Odisha. Singh was part of the Odisha State skill delegation visit to Australia recently.

He added that through a combination of the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS) and Skill Development & Technical Education Department, the government has trained and placed close to 0.45 million rural youth in jobs across 30 districts. “We are now ramping up our efforts through mission 2020 program, where we are aiming to train and place up to 0.8 million people by 2019,” said Singh.

“There is a gradual shift in Odisha’s economy from agriculture to industry and services. This means that there is greater demand for skilled labour than ever before” — B N Das, Executive Director, ORMAS Panchayati Raj Dept

With 1.25 billion people where more than 54 per cent are under 25 years of age, the commissioner believes that India is placed well to take advantage of the favourable demographics. “However, to do so successfully, we need a strong focus on Skill Development,” said Singh.

“In relation to the state of Odisha, with 42 million people, we are the 11th largest state in terms of population size. Around 42 per cent of our population (18 million) are less than 35 years of age. There is a gradual shift in Odisha’s economy from agriculture to industry and services. This means that there is greater demand for skilled labour than ever before,” said B N Das, Executive Director, ORMAS Panchayati Raj Dept, who was also part of the delegation.

Both Singh and Das spoke about Mission 2020—the move bring about a holistic approach to skill development. “Odisha is a skilful state from time eternal—be it the exquisite 8th wonder of the world, Konark Temple to intricate silver filigree work or metal casting or hand painting. At the same time, skilling people is not without its challenges—low aspirational value attached to skill development, difficulty in mobilisation and retention of youth poor quality of trainers are some of the key challenges amongst others. Mission 2020 is all about our vision to train and place 2 million people by 2020,” said Sanjay Kumar Singh, IAS, Commissioner-cum-secretary, Skill Development and Technical Education, also with the Mission.

Das said the state aimed to achieve their vision and mission through a combination of setting up model training centres, increasing industry participation by building industrial conclaves, having a unified protocols and procedures under the umbrella of skill development authority and finally attracting skilled youth to overseas employers.

L-R: BN Das, SK Singh, DK Singh, Suresh Padmanabhan, Senthil Palani, Rao Vamaraju and Jay
L-R: BN Das, SK Singh, DK Singh, Suresh Padmanabhan, Senthil Palani, Rao Vamaraju and Jay

Odisha was also recently selected as number one state for providing skilling to the rural youth of India. The award was conferred on the state by Union Minister Mr Narendra Singh Tomar in Delhi. “We see this award as a further motivation to continue our work even more vigorously and help maintain the State of Odisha as the number One State in India,” said Das.

Sanjay Kumar said the Australian Vocational Education and Training can help Odisha take a leap forward in their ambitious skilling mission, which was they met with the Department of Education and Training as well as with TAFE and many RTO’s during their visit. “One of the Australian Organisation Reach for Training, has been given the responsibility of upskilling our current trainers to International standards, through the Australian training program International Training and Assessment Course (ITAC). This is a key initiative, as increasing the capability and capacity of trainers will directly benefit the people being trained by these trainers. So the repayment dividend is enormous,” he said, and added that TAFE is actively looking to identify ways to develop content and curriculum. “We have invited RTO to join our funded skilling programs such as Deen Dyal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yogana. We are really looking forward to working with many more public and private training organisations from Australia with a view to a mutually long term and beneficial partnership,” said Das.

 

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