Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Labour & Employment
22-December-2011 14:57 IST
Consultative Committee Meeting of the Ministry of Labour & Employment Emphasises Upon Providing Employment to Skilled Work Force on Priority Basis
The Consultative Committee members of the Ministry of Labour & Employment have called for providing employment on priority basis to the work force trained by the various skill development institutes under the administrative ambit of the Ministry. The request came during the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Labour & Employment held in the Parliament Annexe yesterday. Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge while chairing the meeting on this said a holistic approach to skill development is necessary so that training imparted is according to national standards, of quality excellent and can meet the specific needs of various sectors of economy

Shri Kharge said a low-skill, low-productivity, low-wage economy is unsustainable in the long run. It is also contrary to the poverty reduction paradigm. There is a vicious circle of low education, low skill, low productivity , poor quality jobs and low wages that traps the working poor. This also negatively affects the competitiveness of enterprises and their capacity to contribute to economic and social development. Within this vicious circle, skills development is an essential factor for achieving the objective of decent work both by increasing productivity and sustainability of enterprises and improving the working conditions and employability of workers.

The Minister said, in any system, Governments have the overall responsibility of creating an enabling framework to meet current and future skills needs. International experience shows that countries that have succeeded in linking skills to productivity, employment, development and decent work, have targeted skills development agenda towards three main objectives:

(a) Matching supply to current demand for skills;

(b) Holistic approach and effective Policy for Skill Development.; and

(c) Active participation of stake holders, particularly employers.

Referring to the “National Policy on Skill Development” approved by the Cabinet on 23rd February, 2009 he said this policy addresses the need of skill development of a huge population, by providing them with skills that make them employable and help them secure a ‘decent’ job. The Policy has identified the unprecedented challenge faced by India, for skilling or up-grading skills of the youth. It lays down a roadmap for all the Ministries/Departments and State Governments to achieve the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister.

Shri Kharge said, the current capacity of skill development in the country is about 53 lakh per annum. Since the Prime Minister has set a target of skilling 50 crore people by 2022 to meet the challenges of India.This is a very ambitious goal. With this challenge in view, there is an urgent need for expansion of Skill Development over the next decade in a big way.

Due to demographic advantage, both in terms of numbers and age, the entire world is looking towards India as a great reservoir of skilled manpower. Therefore, we are taking steps to increase the pace of skill development. We also have to keep pace with technological changes and provide necessary support for skill development as per the requirement of the industry.

Giving an account of the initiatives taken by the Ministry Shri Kharge said many reforms like re-engineering of National Council for Vocational Training by making it a statutory body; design and development of National Vocation Qualification Frame- work and creating a Labour Market Information System by modernizing all the employment exchanges in the country have been initiated by his ministry.

He said to boost skill development in the country, a “National Council on Skill Development” under the chairmanship of Prime Minister, and a “National Skill Development Coordination Board” under the chairmanship of Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission, have been constituted. As apex institutions, they provide policy direction and a coordination mechanism. A “National Skill Development Corporation” under the chairmanship of a leading industrialist, has also been set up under the Companies Act, 1956 to support private efforts in skill development . The Corporation is also setting up Sector Skills Councils for identification of skill development needs and formulating sectoral skills development plans. Sector Skills Councils would also work as a link between trainees and institutes on one side, and Government and industries on the other. State level Skill Development Missions have also been constituted by 26 States and 5 Union Territories. In addition, there are 17 Ministries/Departments/Organizations offering various training programmes to meet the requirement of skilled persons for sectors under their control.

During the 11th Plan period, Government of India has taken a number of initiatives to improve the quantitative and qualitative aspects of skill development. While the numbers of Government and Private ITIs have almost doubled from 5114 to 9404 in the last 5 years, the Government has taken up two major schemes for the modernization of Government ITIs. Under the first Scheme, 500 ITIs are being upgraded, 100 from domestic resources and 400 with World Bank assistance with a total outlay of Rs 1,741. Multi-skill courses have been introduced in selected ITIs by upgrading their infrastructure facility under the scheme. The second Scheme is “Upgradation of 1396 Government ITIs in PPP mode" . This scheme was launched during 2007-08 with an outlay of Rs. 3550 crores for a period of 5 years.

In the last couple of years, the Central Government has released around Rs.3713 crores to State Govts for upgrading ITIs under the above mentioned two Schemes so as to bring about qualitative changes in the ITIs.

Another significant scheme titled ‘Skill Development Initiative’ (SDI) based on the Modular Employable Skills was started in 2007-08 with a total outlay of Rs.550 crores. The scheme offers skill development programmes for early school leavers and existing workers of 14 years of age or above. A total of 6753 vocational training providers have been registered across the country. 1386 course modules covering 60 sectors of economy have been developed. Testing and Certification under the scheme is being done by independent agencies and 36 organizations have been empanelled as Assessing Bodies.

The members expressed concern on the current practice of direct recruitment by the employers byepassing the Employment Exchanges and called for ensuring/prioritizing the employment only through the Employment Offices in the States. In response the members were told that this is happening due to 1996 verdict of Hon’ble Supreme Court that allows the employers to go for direct recruitment. They were assured for remedial measures. The Members also ratified the minutes of the previous meeting and a a presentation on “Skill Development” was made by the DGE&T during the meeting.

The meeting was attended by following MPs: S/Shri R.K.Singh Patel (SP), Ram Sunder Das (JDU), N.Peethambara (INC), Badri Ram Jakhar (INC) and Shri MangalaKisan (BJD). Secretary Labour & Employment Dr. M. Sarangi and senior Officials from the Ministry were present during the meeting.