Role of Industry in Skill Development

Some prominent sectors that can generate growth have been identified by the government and these sectors can ensure consistent development of the economy. The growing economy and globalisation together would cause an increase in workforce requirements and as a result there would be potential of more job opportunities. The government along with its partner agencies has been launching many programmes to improve the job scenario in these industries but there are multiple challenges in each industry that need to be dealt with separately. The sectors that have been identified by the government include infrastructure, automation, textiles, transportation, building and construction. The challenges faced by each sector are also different.

For the infrastructure sector, short term courses have been launched by the government and some industrial houses have also set up training institutions to impart basic skills with a high guarantee of employment. The challenges faced in this sector include that first of all skilled work had been outsourced to other countries by the industrial houses due to lack of productivity at home and secondly, certain levels of training that are very crucial to infrastructure are not provided in the curriculum. Initiatives have been taken up in the building and construction sector also that include establishment of about 640 business centres that train individuals and impart knowledge about the best and most cost effective materials for building and constructions. There is a high placement record that runs here too. The drawbacks in this sector are actually common to the entire workforce. Formal skill training has only been received by about 3-5% of the workforce and there is also labour shortage of about 30%. The biggest challenge to the automotive industry is that the knowledge of even the skilled workforce is not comparable to the knowledge of individuals in countries like Japan and USA and therefore we are behind in this sector too. There is also low productivity when it comes to the design capabilities in India but that area is expected to grow with the development in the coming years. The government has set up new centres and the established ones also produce a large number of trained personnels every year. The transportation and logistics sector requires a number of skills that include both technological aspect and the driving or the transport related knowledge. Therefore despite the scope, it’s not widely chosen by individuals as a career because of the vast amount of knowledge that is required.

There are numerous advantages that come with the industry taking care of skill development of the population. It keeps the curriculum or the way in which the training takes place according to the needs of the industry. The industry can optimise the job market as they like and there is room for improvement and understanding what is actually required from individuals. There is also an increase in reach, as focus is made on the inclusion of rural areas also and hence opportunities are available to all individuals in the country. There is complete influence of the industry on the framework and policies to suit their needs. Several steps have been taken up by industries that include establishment of new institutes, customised training to all individuals including the economically and socially underprivileged, collaboration with schools and various training institutes, promoting new practises of skill development and availability of scholarships and other incentives to make individuals aware about the need of skill development and attract more and more people.

The industry has an imperative role to play in the skill development of the country. Many initiatives have been taken up and yet there are many others that can be followed by the industries. New skill development institutes have been set up by realizing the growth of the population is the first step towards understanding the importance of more such institutes. Along with these primary institutes, focus should also be made on establishing advanced level institutions for further skill development. The industry is also expected to use resources like on the job training for individuals to enhance skill development further. Along with assisting the government in several initiatives, the industry also has the responsibility of  setting the quality standards. The variation in the quality of skill development imparted to individuals is very prominent from the statistics of how many employable graduates are produced every year. Hence the quality is a major issue. CSR has also played a crucial role in this regard because many industries have started contributing through it, even if it is in small amounts, it would still help in improving the situation in the country.

The industry faces many other challenges when it comes to working towards skill development. One of the most prominent challenge is the lack of awareness amongst the individuals. It is very important for the population of the country to realise that the asset can be termed as a liability if the right measures are not followed at the right time and their support needs to be extended both to the industry and the government for implementation of the programmes.

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