India is currently one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 54% of population ranging below 25 years of age. The working age group of the country (15-59 years) has escalated to more than 62%. With the steep increase in the country’s youth demographics, India is estimated to have an average age of 29 years by 2020. Indian labour force is also expected to grow by 32%, in the next 19 years.
With this great potential in our workforce comes the responsibility of imparting quality education and vocational skill training. Currently though, youth from rural areas face the challenge of either limited or no proper education.
The 68th round of NSSO (National Sample Survey Organisation) estimated the skilled workforce in developed countries like USA at 52%, UK at 68%, Japan at 80% and South Korea at 96%. On the contrary, India recorded a meagre 4.69% of total workforce with formal skill training. Ergo an urgent need to equip our bright young minds with skills relevant to industrial applicability.
The goal of skilling 40.02 crore people by 2022 has been set by the government in 2015. Every year holds a promise to this better future. Through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, India aims to achieve a target of 24 lakh skilled youth by the end of 2016. The collective purpose is to provide skill training and also recognition of skills via certification. Any monetary help provided to the underprivileged youth is temporary. Referring them to the skill training institutions like ICICI Academy for skills, can help them gain access to formal skill training and enable them to earn a sustainable livelihood.
ICICI Academy of Skills
Contributing to this mission of increasing the skilled workforce in India, ICICI Academy of Skills was formed in 2013 and imparts free vocational training to the economically weaker sections of society. The Academy currently operates 22 centres all over India offering 13 technical and office skills namely:
• Electrical & Home Appliance Repair
• Refrigeration & AC Repair
• Pumps & Motor Repair
• Central Air Conditioning
• Paint Application Techniques
• Retail Cafe Operations
• Tractor Mechanic
• Lab Assistant at Diagnostic Centres
• Two & Three Wheeler Service Technician
• Selling Skills
• Retail Sales
• Office Administration
• Web Designing
It is crucial to provide appropriate skill training which can be applied right away in industries. Thereby paving way for better employment opportunities and enhanced productivity. Keeping this in mind, the Academy has partnered with knowledge partners who are industry leaders to provide ideal course curriculum. Along with theory lessons, the course curriculum also includes practical training in technical labs. Knowledge partners include Blue Star Ltd. (for refrigeration & AC repair), Café Coffee Day (for retail café operations), Crompton Greaves Ltd. (for pumps & motor repair), NIIT Ltd. (for web designing), Schneider Electric Pvt. Ltd. (for electrical & home appliance repair), Tally Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (for office administration) and Voltas Ltd. (central air conditioning).
On successful completion of the programme, each candidate receives a certificate and is provided with job placement opportunities.
How can you help?
Every precious drop of change has a ripple effect on the ocean. The Academy has launched a referral programme - #GiftALivelihood where you can refer an underprivileged youth by visiting the programme website. The Academy will contact the person and if found eligible and suitable, enrol the candidate. Next, the candidate will be provided free, three-month, vocational training in any one of the 13 skills. You can even track your referred candidate’s status through the website.
It is heartwarming to read the success stories of the Academy. From a housemaid to a sales executive, from a farm labour to an AC technician, from a stone breaker to a BPO executive, the Academy has transformed over 25,000 lives.
Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank said: "India has a unique advantage in the form of its demographic dividend. However, translating the demographic dividend into growth and prosperity requires job creation as well as enabling the youth to acquire the skills required to benefit from employment opportunities. Through the ICICI Academy for Skills, we are making a contribution towards realising the dream of a prosperous India where every individual is equipped with the skills to earn a living and take part in the nation's growth."