Editorial Team

For some time now, we have been hearing about India’s demographic dividend and the untapped talent of its massive youth population. As we celebrate our 75th Independence Day, some companies are rising up to the challenge of skilling and providing employment opportunities to the country’s youth. Given that we are facing unprecedented economic and humanitarian challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, these endeavours provide tangible hope and help to the young at a time when unemployment rates are spiralling.

Here is an overview of five such attempts to really invest in our demographic dividend.

1. ‘Unnati For India’ by Visionet Systems:

‘Unnati for India’ is a far-reaching skilling initiative envisioned by Alok Bansal, Visionet Systems India’s MD and Global Head of BFSI Business. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in India has been largely disruptive. India’s growth in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2020 went down to 3.1% according to the Ministry of Statistics. Many companies had to take steps to save costs, however, Visionet decided to extend their expertise to make the next generation future ready. Under the aegis of ‘Unnati For India’, Visionet will train over 1 lakh graduates over the next 5 years to make them employable in the Information Technology and BPM sector. They are being trained via technology backed online modules as well as in classrooms where they interact with trainers and learn from live demos to understand how the industry works. The duration of the program is 45 to 60 days and it offers world class training for free. The same modules would cost anywhere between Rs 50,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh per person. Candidates who successfully complete the programme are awarded a certification post an assessment by Visionet. ‘Unnati For India’ has already trained approximately 600 people last year and 90% of them have been hired by Visionet.

2. National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme by Amazon:

Amazon India recently launched a skilling program under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS). This will unfold across its fulfilment centres across India and will train youngsters whose education or employability was impacted by COVID-19. The pilot program aims to empower over 1000 apprentices. During the 6-month program, the apprentices will be trained in warehousing and inventory management skills and if successful, they will go on to become warehouse associates and process associates. At the end of each programme, the apprentices will be assessed by the Logistics Sector Skill Council and will receive a certification that will make them eligible for seasonal or full-time employment. The idea behind the initiative is to enable skilling and job creation in a sustainable way so that India’s youth can secure gainful employment even in difficult times.

3. Hitachi’s Skill Development initiative:

During the pandemic, it is imperative to source borderless talent and create synergies beyond nationalities. Hitachi’s Skill Development initiative does exactly that and is imparting training in the Air Conditioners and Refrigeration space via a virtual route. This virtual skilling curriculum will be imparted via online classes at Skill Development Centers and ITI’s to target largely rural students who learn through mobile phones in the absence of laptops and computers. So far over 1500 students have been skilled via these online classes. The rural youth will also benefit from the experience of world-class trainers, 5 skill development centres in Andhra Pradesh and 1 in Gujarat. The aim is to create more than 50,000 world-class technicians and cooling experts by 2025.

4. Training Centre For E-Commerce by Flipkart Logistics:

Flipkart has announced an MoU with the Logistics Skill Sector Council (LSC), an organisation set up by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) through National Skill Development Corporation of India (NSDC) and Karnataka Skill Development Centre (KSDC). As part of the MoU, Flipkart has launched a Centre of Excellence (CoE) to build a skilled workforce to serve the rapidly expanding e-commerce industry in India. Spread across an area of 1,500 sq ft, the pathbreaking CoE for e-commerce supply chain in Bengaluru boasts smart classrooms equipped with computers and projectors. The 60-day training also imparts soft skills like communication and customer interaction and gives an opportunity to selected candidates to join an apprenticeship under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme.

5. JobsNearby by PayNearby:

Fintech startup PayNearby has launched JobsNearby, a platform to help blue-collar migrant workers in urban areas to find employment opportunities via an assisted job registry. The idea is to help workers who have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. Through its network of over 9 lakh retail points, spread across more than 17,000 plus PIN codes in India, the company has created a platform where out-of-job, registered workers will become visible to prospective employees and will find a gainful placement. The company has also synergised with banks, NGOs, global foundations, and other aggregators, where these registered workers can hopefully find a placement that is just right for their skill sets.

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