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How the Private Sector Develops Skills: Lessons from India

More young people live in India than in any other country and their numbers are projected to increase for decades to come. More than 12 million enter the workforce each year yet few have the skills required for employment. The Government of India has set a target to skill 400 million people by 2022 and established the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) as part of this mission. Through NSDC, government is engaged with private sector partners to advance strategic approaches in skills development by creating public-private partnerships with companies involved in skill training. This is at the centre of a skills business “ecosystem” in India through which all players interact to produce a positive, productive system to skill millions.

Momentum for the skills development movement comes not only from the urgent need to provide livelihoods for youth but also from the need to act before a window of opportunity closes. The “youth bulge” in India’s population is poised to deliver a demographic dividend, a transformational boost in economic productivity associated with growing numbers in the workforce relative to dependents. Only through investing in up-to-date education, health and decent work for youth can India harness this dividend. India requires skills to sustain its rapid economic growth, to integrate its large working-age population into the economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner and, ultimately, India needs skills in order to become a global supplier of human resources.

This study focuses on 12 skills delivery initiatives led by the private sector and carried out to support the national skills mission of the Government of India. The objective of this study is to generate lessons from India’s experience in skilling, namely to identify and analyse impactful business models and their practices and innovations, to highlight challenges, and to provide insights on how the private sector could contribute even more to skills acquisition and employability.

Case Study 01 - National Skill Development Corporation - Creating Vocational Skills through Public-Private Partnership

Author: Prof. Suku Bhaskaran

The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is a joint venture between the Government of India and the private sector to facilitate quality skills provision, provide financial resources and special funding schemes to build viable business in skill development and introduce the necessary support systems. The NSDC has shown its capabilities by providing training to nearly 6 million individuals across 33 industrial sectors.

Case Study 02 - Centum WorkSkills India - Large-scale Vocational Training for Youth

Author: Prof. Sanjai Bhatt and Dr. Sima Singh

Centum WorkSkills India limited (CWSI) is one of the NSDC’s largest training partners. CWSI offers an integrated set of services in the skill development sphere, which ranges from community mobilization, assessment, certification and assistance for placement. CWSI provides special focus on vocational training to youth on a large scale. CWSI uses communities, self-help group, social specialists to reach its target beneficiaries. Currently, CWSI operates a network of 974 centres across 15 states in India. CWSI also have a staggering record, where more than 70 percent of its trainee have received waged employment after completed CWSI certified training programmes.

Case Study 03 - IL&FS - Skills Training for Jobs through Innovation and Technology

Author: Gökhan Dikmener and Yılmaz Ergun Dinç

IL&FS is one of the leading private skilling company in India. It provides placement driven skill training to diverse range of groups from school dropouts to high school, higher secondary school and ITI graduates. IL&FS training ranges from manufacturing, service, construction, hospitality and textile and apparel industries. IL&FS puts a special emphasis on technological solutions via interactive platforms to overcome barriers such as physical distance and time. IL&FS have already provided training to more than 1.4 million youth, where over 500,000 trainees were linked to a placement.

Case Study 04 - IndiaCan - Educating Empowering and Employing Youth

Author: Assoc. Professor Deepti Wadera and Asst. Prof. Anuradha R. Tiwary

IndiaCan Education Private Limited is a private company, who is targeting challenges like unemployed youth, welfare disadvantage people, lack of employment opportunities by providing technical skills to fulfill industry’s need for qualified technical staff. IndiaCan has provided training to more than 75,000 students, which resulted in a 75 percent after training placement.

Case Study 05 - NIIT Yuva Jyoti - Source-Train-Place Model for Skilling Disadvantaged Youth

Author: Dr. B. Chandrashekar

NIIT Yuva Jyoti is a skill development venture, which actively focuses on disadvantaged youth and school dropouts from cities in India with population under 1 million. It uses the Source-Train-Place model, where it works to provide local job opportunities for local youth especially in information technology sector. It has created 350 centres across India, reaching more than 128,000 students as of March 2015.

Case Study 06 - AISECT - Training Rural Youth to Bridge the ICT Gap

Author: Assoc. Professor Supreet Singh and Sulagna Choudhuri

The All India Society for Electronic and Computer Technology (AISECT) was created to bridge the information and communications technology gap between urban and rural areas of India. AISECT empowers youth with skill training and it also use the franchise model to build entrepreneurial network. Currently, it has an operational capacity of 12,000 centres across India, which have already trained more than 1.7 million students. AISECT has been recognized by World Bank and several international organization for its contribution to skill development and sustainable business.

Case Study 07 - B-ABLE - Locally-relevant Skills Delivery with DomesteQ and Eye Mitra

Author: Prof. Abha Singh and Prateek Jain

B-ABLE is a skill development arm of BASIX Social Enterprise Group. It has been engaged in providing training to Indian youth since 2009, where it provided industry specific and hands-on skills to disadvantaged sections of the society. Its main objective is to create an environment for lifelong learning, economic empowerment and inclusive development through skills. It has partnered with NSDC in providing skill development such as through its DomesteQ initiative it provided skills to women in the informal sector. As of November 2015, B-ABLE has provided training to more than 63,806 youth.

Case Study 08 - Dr. Reddy's Foundation - Livelihood Advancement Business Schools (LABS)

Author: Dr. Atul Pratap Singh and Sulagna Choudhuri

Dr. Reddy’s Foundation (DRF) is a non-profit partner of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. DRF acts as a catalyst of change that fosters, develops and promotes initiative at individual, group and organizational levels to achieve sustainable development. It provides short term skill training to youth aged 18-30 years to provide immediate access to market relevant skills and jobs. DRF has improved livelihoods of 340,131 youth through training, including 7,884 disabled youth.

Case Study 09 - Empower Pragati - Transformational Training and Women’s Empowerment

Author: Prof. Neera Agnimitra and Ms. Vidya M. Iyer

Empower Pragati is a private venture in the skilling industry in India with a focus on home management for women in the informal sector. It began as an enterprise with a mission of women empowerment by transforming domestic workers into home managers. It has already provided training to 75,359 candidates in as many as 14 ranges of sectors. This company has evolved as a profitable and sustainable venture as well as a successful enterprise.

Case Study 10 - GMR Varalakshmi Foundation - Livelihood Initiatives through Corporate Social Responsibility

Author: Dr. J. Mary John and Dr. Shipra Singh

The GMR Varalakshmi Foundation (GMRVF) is the corporate social responsibility initiative set up in 2003 by GMR Group, an infrastructure company. This foundation originated to assist company’s operations including land acquisition and other activities, which affects communities around it. GMRVF’s vocational training programme is tied to relevant industries in the provision of sector specific skill development. Since its inception in 2003, GMRVF has trained over 30,000 candidates.

Case Study 11 - LabourNet - Organizing the Unorganized in a Public-Private Partnership for Skilling

Author: Dr. Bindu P. Verghese

LabourNet works with unskilled and semi-skilled unorganized workers by providing skilling and capacity building services, recognition of prior learning, employment linkages, as well as financial inclusion, social protection and welfare services. With remarkable achievements in the capability expansion of informal worker, LabourNet tells a success story of poverty alleviation through public private partnership in skill upgradation of rural India. It has created 18 centres across India, reaching more than 104,892 candidates.

Case Study 12 - Youth4Jobs - Skilling the Differently-abled to Improve Lives and Meet Workforce Demand

Author: Partha Saha and Maheswar Satpathy

Youth4Jobs provides skill development to differently-abled youth from rural areas. This organization has developed unique training and outreach modules that are changing perceptions about disabled youth and their capabilities to work among employers, parents and youth themselves. Youth4Jobs has devised an integrated course to improve soft skills, English language efficiency and sector specific competencies. Since its inception, Youth4jobs has trained over 7,000 differently abled youth candidates from rural areas.

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Case Studies

National Skill Development Corporation - Creating Vocational Skills Through Public-Private Partnership