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Education, skilling, entrepreneurship merging in new thinking: Union Skills Secretary says at FICCI Skill summit

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There is a change in the DNA of the government policies and gradually skills are shifting to where these belong to: mainstream Education.  This was said by Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, at the ‘14th Global Skills Summit 2023’, organized by business chamber FICCI in New Delhi on September 20. He reiterated that there is a general acceptance that the time has come for India to set right its education, skilling and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“The next 5 years are very crucial for India where we will see all investments happening, operationalizing of the National Education Policy, and this is the time when need to create capacities in our young people to take the country forward and achieve the vision of becoming a developed country,” he added.

“Skilling is seen as part of the education system, employment process, with emphasis on upskilling and reskilling for which we have the National Education Policy in place. We need to reorient our education system to make it more application oriented by giving them skills to make them employable,” emphasized Mr Tiwari.

Speaking on the recently launched PM Vishwakarma Yojna, the Secretary said that the most important part in this scheme is skilling. He made it clear that skilling through certification either through RPL or short training followed by assessment will be basis for scheme benefits. It is a need based, giving holistic solution right from identification to skilling and giving the concessional credits which is all part of the system, he added. “Skilling is no longer confined to just base level but also extended to high end levels including designing and manufacturing,” he added. He called upon the stakeholders to think about future of skills, work, workers and workplaces as next five years are crucial for country.

Speaking at the same event, Dr Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi, chairman NCVET, illustrated how the frameworks have been created for an integrated approach to bring vocational education at par with mainstream education and make it aspirational. He added though NCVET has designed over 350 courses, the uptake of these programs has been low. “The industry will have to look into the need and demand and we’re open to listen. Education 4.0 is clearly innovation and skill based. The cyber-human interaction will be a new realm that will provide a lot of opportunities to youth,” he said.

FICCI-KPMG reports ‘High Quality Demand Driven Skilling: Focus- Electronics Manufacturing’ & ‘Skill Financing Models in India’ were released during the session.

A prominent highlight of the event was a session on ‘Green Skills and Green Jobs’. Abraham Kumar, President and CEO of ProtaTech Inc, a US-based company delivered an enlightening talk and threw light on the evolving landscape of environmentally focused employment opportunities.

Kumar remarked, “According to the Global Green Skills Report 2023, green jobs are witnessing a transformation, demanding a blend of managerial, technical, and social skills, which can pose accessibility challenges for potential workers. However, the report presents fresh insights into green skills and jobs, offering a roadmap for transitioning the global workforce towards a green economy future.”

 Kumar also mentioned the significant efforts being made by organizations like US Bureau of Labour Statistics to track the growth and distribution of green jobs, highlighting their growing importance in the job market. LinkedIn data reinforced the global trend, indicating consistent hiring growth in green roles for four consecutive years. The data projects an impressive 8.6% growth rate for green jobs over the next decade, with an estimated addition of 114,300 new positions in the green workforce during that period. The scope of green jobs extends beyond sustainability managers, encompassing engineers skilled in constructing and operating wind farms, as well as capable managers. These roles not only benefit workers but also contribute significantly to the robustness of the economy, showcasing remarkable growth in recent years.

 Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in a speech on February 23, 2023, articulated India’s potential to lead the world in green energy. He likened the business opportunities in India’s private sector within the solar, wind, and biogas energy fields to the allure of a gold mine or an oilfield. Prime Minister Modi’s visionary approach was further manifested in the 2023-24 budget, which allocated ₹10,000 crore for the National Green Hydrogen Mission and 19,500 crore for the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Electric) Vehicles in India (FAME) scheme, demonstrating a steadfast commitment to promoting green jobs and sustainable growth.

Shailendra Katyal, Managing Director, Lenovo India P Ltd and Site Leader, Lenovo Group said that there is no better time for India to leverage the advantages being created by macro forces and propel young people for brighter future.

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