Generation India Foundation (GIF) and Alliance of Skill Training Partners (ASTP) successfully organized a webinar on ‘Improvements and Transformation Required in the Skills Ecosystem’. The webinar focused on deliberating and presenting views of multiple stakeholders in the Skills ecosystem in India including National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), Training Partners and eminent organizations like World Bank, IKEA Foundation, BlackRock.
The speakers talked about future of skilling globally & in India and emphasized the need of alignment with industry 4.0, importance of female labor force participation, embracing the new normal in today’s virtual world, rising need of re-skilling & upskilling in pandemic driven scenario, and bridging demand-supply gap by enhancing industry participation in skill development. They also laid out some specific steps the Government needs to implement, in order to get the industry back on its feet.
The opening address was given by Dr. Manish Kumar, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation followed by Keynote addresses by Ms. Shabnam Sinha, Lead Education Specialist-India, World Bank Group and Mr. Arunesh Singh, CEO, Generation India Foundation.
This was followed by a spirited panel discussion moderated by Mr. Navanit Samaiyar, CEO, Alliance of Skill Training Partners (ASTP). The panelists brought a wide range of subjects given their diverse backgrounds and included Mr. RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, Schoolnet India Ltd, Mr. Rajiv Sharma, MD & Founder, Empower Pragati, Mr. T. Muralidharan, Founder & Chairman, TMI Group, who brought forth the Training Partners point of view while Mr. Vivek Singh, Head of Portfolio- Employment & Entrepreneurship, IKEA Foundation and Mr. Pravin Goel, MD & Country Head, BlackRock, brought a more holistic outside in view of the ecosystem. It was well summed up by Mr. Arun Kumar Pillai, Chief Strategy Officer at NSDC who brought in elements of how policies will need to align with changing demands of the industry.
The webinar witnessed a whooping participation of 500+ attendees ranging from industry experts, social workers, trainers to the last mile beneficiary in the skills value chain. The discussion was interesting since it touched upon relevant issues and the way forward for the skilling ecosystem in India.
“It is important to focus on enhancing the female labour force participation in India and focus on providing re-skilling opportunities to women re-entering the labour market after a career gap” said Dr. Manish, MD & CEO, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). NSDC also shared details of various new initiatives for expanding reach to global markets like UAE, Australia, Japan and Eastern Europe to provide skilled manpower and establish India as Skill Capital of the World.
Emphasis was laid on the fact that we should start looking at the ecosystem in context of a skills network to bring about a significant Impact. Vivek Singh, Head of Portfolio- Employment & Entrepreneurship, IKEA Foundation said “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Strengthening this thought further Pravin Goel, MD & Country Head, BlackRock added “India is very young and contrary to the popular narrative around being scared of tech etc. disruption, young India is actually bullish – not like the deer in the headlights, but ready to jump into the future with both feet. That being said, we definitely need to channelize the energies right.”
The discussion laid the foundation for some necessary steps that can be adopted in the COVID economy and in general to strengthen and bring about a positive change in the skills ecosystem and they will be separately laid out as an action strategy paper for Policy makers, Media, Employers, Students and industry to adopt.