“CSR: Offering an impetus to skill development”
Manish Kumar, Managing Director and CEO, NSDC, shares his insight into the working of the organisation that has a wide network of training partners, industry collaborations and associations with state governments
How crucial is CSR to skill development?
As India enjoys a demographic dividend where more than 50% of its population is in working age group, the youth surge presents an opportunity for India to enhance its growth as well as source skilled manpower to the rest of the world. According to a report by the World Bank, this is because India's working age population will be more than the dependent population for at least three decades till 2040. It is also estimated that during the next 20 years, the labour force in the industrial world is expected to decline by 4%, while in India it will increase by 32%. To bridge the divide, the Skill India Mission was launched to empower the youth with skills that make them employable, and to make India, the global sourcing hub for manpower. The CSR mandate acts as a win-win opportunity for companies to invest in skilling as they create a wideranging impact and sustainability for their stakeholders and shareholders. The organisations are realising that skilling the workforce in various sectors would catalyse their expansion goals.
What is your CSR implementation strategy?
Our wide network of training partners across India accelerates the implementation of CSR initiatives by numerous public sector units and corporates, who intend to contribute towards Skill India Programme. All projects are structured and monitored as a sub-mission under the National Skill Development Mission. The CSR team at NSDC regularly engages with stakeholders, practitioners, industry experts etc., at various forums, industry consortiums and channels of communication to keep abreast of the latest trends in the skilling ecosystem. Every project starts with a needs analysis that involves inputs from all parties involved to assess the target geography, courses, timelines, role of stakeholders and requirements of the project. The skill training at grassroot level is carried out by Training Partners - organisations that are formally affiliated to NSDC post careful diligence process by consulting firms.
What are the opportunities in skilling and the way forward?
Creating a livelihood for the youth through job creation or self-employment is the critical need of the hour. Empowering human capital through Skill Development is essential towards developing the country's economy. A number of opportunities have arisen in skilling that NSDC actively pursues - demand for significant scale up of vocational training institutions, opportunity for a number of shared services for the ecosystem including placement, candidate support, counseling and, need for innovative funding models to satiate demand for capital from this growing segment, high quality analytics to enable planning, execution and evaluation, alignment with multiple international norms in assessment and certification to enable labour mobility, rapidly growing collaborations with international private and governmental agencies for knowledge exchange, technical support and cooperation. NSDC is engaged in future-proofing skill development ecosystem starting with developing futuristic courses across sectors. Courses like Self-employed E-tailer, GST Consultant, UI Developer and VFX Editor are geared towards a digitally empowered generation. Most of the course material is also being moved online through initiatives like India Skills Online and Skilling Content Marketplace so that we can reach a wider network of online learners. NSDC is also evaluating partnerships with various AR/VR and Blockchain technology providers to develop innovative models of training and delivery, and to train Indian youth to be the global source of supply of highly qualified technologists in such emerging fields.