Industry urged to capitalise on the ‘demographic bulge’ in Jharkhand by investing in skilling

NEW DELHI, 6 December 2018. Mr. Rajesh Agrawal, Joint Secretary & CVO, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, today invited industry to capitalise on the ‘demographic bulge’ that is more pronounced in Jharkhand by investing in skilling and training the required workforce. Jharkhand has 70% of the population under 35 years with the average age being 27 years.

Speaking here at ‘ENGAGE – Employers Network for Generating Aspirational & Gainful Employment: Skill in Jharkhand: Skilling for Future’, organised by FICCI and Jharkhand Government, Mr. Agrawal said that investors need to view skill development from the standpoint of productivity gains from skilling instead of focusing on the perceived benefits of employing  low-cost labour.

He said that employers need to understand that a rupee invested in enhancing productivity yields a seven-fold return. “Skill development is no more a CSR-based investment’, but should be regarded as a measure to boost labour productivity, he said.

Industry, he said, had a leading role to play in skill development as the experience of the last 10 years had shown that sustainable skill development growth models are being built by initiatives that as industry-led.

Mr. Agrawal said that there was a need to evangelise apprenticeships of six months to a year for building a short-term skilling ecosystem. In this context, he commended the Vocational Education & Training (VET) systems adopted by Korea for reaping the benefits of productivity increases.

Ms. Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Higher Technical Education & Skill Development Department, Government of Jharkhand, enumerated the steps taken by the state government for creating a skills ecosystem. The state aims to train and skill 20 lakh people by 2022, thus touching the lives of 20% of its youth.

He said that the state government had framed industry-oriented policies for industrial development and investment promotion. The Jharkhand Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy of 2016 aims at converting the state into a favoured destination for investors. Likewise, the Jharkhand Textile, Apparel and Footwear Policy and the Film Policy have created the right kind of environment for sustainable growth of industries.

Dr. Devendra Kumar Tiwari, Development Commissioner, Government of Jharkhand, said that skilling the workforce for Industry 4.0 was imperative not just for growth but for making Indian industry competitive. This was important as export growth in the future will be led by export of manpower, he added.

He said that Jharkhand today boasts of an industrial culture that is evidenced by the absence of industrial strikes and loss of man-days. This climate was being improved by a decisive government through its policies.

Mr. Ravi Ranjan, Mission Director, Jharkhand Skill Development Mission Society, Government of Jharkhand, said that the state government had fashioned its skilling policy to give primacy to placements. It had devised a package with a sharp focus on developing soft skills for making the workforce future-ready.


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