Ketan believes that India’s large, youthful population has the potential to drive economic growth for at least the next three decades.
By Ketan Deshpande
India has a large pool of young talent which has the potential to make it the skill capital of the world. However, this talent needs to be transformed into income-generating avenues. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was pushed to the forefront through legislation in India nearly eight years ago. Since then, the Indian business landscape has seen a shift towards becoming more responsible with CSR as a leading indicator for how stakeholders expect organisations to operate. Today, an organisation with strong CSR activities enjoys a favourable reputation in the market, which eventually reflects its values on the bottomline.
India’s large, youthful population has the potential to drive economic growth for at least the next three decades. This demographic dividend can be harnessed through skill development initiatives to provide individuals with the skills they need to find decent work and contribute to the economy. The government and private sector are implementing various initiatives and programs to promote skill development.
India’s Demographic Revolution
India is seeing a demographic revolution with a growing and sizeable youth population. The second-most populated country in the world, with more than a billion people, is the most populous one when it comes to youth. However, India struggles with a high rate of unemployment. There is an urgent need to enhance the skill level of the youth and harness this demographic trend into a demographic dividend. We are at a juncture with opportunities and prospects for the government and corporates to collaborate in developing and supporting the next generations. Closing gaps in the educational journey of underprivileged students and moulding an upskilled workforce will go a long way towards contributing to the upliftment of the Indian economy.
The Importance of Skilling
Skill development is a vital means of encouraging and empowering the youth of today, ensuring them a secure future. With over 12 million people joining the Indian workforce annually, the employment rate hit a record low of 36.40% in the second quarter of 2020 and is struggling to pick up. Unsurprisingly, the urban poor have found it the most challenging to bounce back from pandemic-related tribulations. The first step towards skilling is education. While a significant portion of the Indian population lacks vocational training, education provides a basic understanding required to acquire job-related skills for those who do. In an ideal context, this academic knowledge transforms into employability-based skills. In the Indian scenario, the education system is not adequately tailored to the requirements of the job market, which leads to consequences like the inability of young people to find jobs and the failure of employers to hire the skills they require. Therefore, whether they’re educated or not, only a modest percentage of students are skilled with respect to work. This is where skill development can come into play to bridge the gap.
SDGs and Skill Development
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global initiative to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all. Skill development is relevant to several of the SDGs, including:
· Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
· Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
· Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
· Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Skill development plays a crucial role in achieving these goals by providing individuals with the knowledge and abilities they need to find decent work and contribute to their communities and economies. It can also help to reduce inequality by providing marginalized groups with opportunities for personal and professional growth.
CSR and Skilling
Indian companies are increasingly prioritizing skill development as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. With the government’s Skill India Mission and the National Skill Development Corporation promoting skill development as a means of economic growth, companies are investing in training and education programs for their employees and members of the community. This helps to provide individuals with the skills they need to find decent work and contribute to the economy. Companies are also collaborating with non-governmental organizations and educational institutions to develop and implement skill development programs. These initiatives are helping to improve the skills of the workforce and drive socio-economic development in India.
India has a large, youthful population, which has the potential to make it a global skill capital. However, this potential needs to be harnessed through skill development initiatives. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important in India, with many companies investing in skill development programs for their employees and members of the community. These initiatives can help to provide individuals with the skills they need to find decent work and contribute to the economy, which can drive socio-economic development. The government has also implemented initiatives such as the Skill India Mission and the National Skill Development Corporation to promote skill development.
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