India is on the verge of explosive economic growth. Since coming to power, the Modi-led central government has been striving to put into place measures, and create an ecosystem which fosters industrial activity, domestic manufacturing, and enhanced fiscal health. As such, availability of skilled personnel is going to be the defining element in India´s growth story as the country transforms into a diversified and internationally competitive economy.
India currently faces a severe shortage of well-trained, skilled workers. The government estimates that only 2.3 per cent of the workforce in India has undergone formal skill training as compared to 68 per cent in the UK, 75 per cent in Germany, 52 per cent in USA, 80 per cent in Japan and 96 per cent in South Korea. Large sections of the workforce have little or no job skills, making them largely unemployable. Therefore, India must focus on scaling up skill training efforts to meet the demands of employers and drive economic growth. As per the framework of implementation of the National Mission for Skill Development, India is one of the youngest nations in the world, with more than 54 per cent of the total population below 25 years of age and over 62 per cent of the population in the working age group (15-59 years of age). The country´s population pyramid is expected to bulge across the 15û59 years-old age group over the next decade. This demographic advantage is predicted to last only until 2040. India therefore has a very narrow time frame to harness its demographic dividend and to overcome its skill shortages. The power sector in India faces an immense shortage of workers with adequate competencies. The sector is poised for a huge addition in generation capacity to provide 24x7 electricity to everyone in the country. The 12th Five Year Plan estimates that an additional capacity of about 85,000 MW will need to be added by 2017 in order to address India´s growing energy demand. This will only be possible if adequate number of trained and certified skilled workers are available in the entire value chain from generation to servicing the last mile consumer. Professional competence in today´s power sector requires not just cutting-edge technical skills, but also effective commercial and inter-personal skills aligned to the specific needs of the power industry.
Despite the vital importance of industry-specific skills, training for these skills can be extremely difficult to source. To bridge the competency gap in the power sector, Tata Power has established the Tata Power Skill Development Institute (TPSDI) as a non-profit corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in 2015. TPSDI is mandated to provide modular training and certification in the power sector and allied skills leading to employability. TPSDI harnesses the rich experience of Tata Power employees to prepare the youth and others for the huge opportunities coming up in the power sector in the country. The Institute employs a 360 degree approach for holistic development of workers in power-skills and encourage them to reach their full potential. TPSDI´s approach to re-skilling, and up-skilling enables aspirants to pick up and continuously hone skills that would benefit them for life. For every course, skill standards are laid out in terms of requirements of knowledge and skills for each training. These requirements are arrived at after carrying out training need analysis for each skill. All standards are compared with and aligned to National Occupational Standards as specified by the National Skill Development Council (NSDC). The Institute currently has two centers in the country - Shahad and Trombay and plans to soon set up five integrated training centers across India.
If India is to gain its rightful place in the world, skill development will require to be given a place right on top of national priorities. Creating new jobs is only a part of the equation for employment in today´s developing India as over 12 million youth are joining the workforce each year and hence bridging the existing skill gap is of prime importance. Tata Power Skill Development Institute, which aims to bridge this skill gap in the power sector by training the workforce engaged in the sector with skills that make them more employable and helps them excel in their fields is an excellent of the contribution and impact that corporates can make to bridge India´s skill gap. There is need for greater participation from the industry and the private sector to realize ´Skill India´ dream. For any skill development effort to succeed, markets and industry need to play a large role in determining courses, curriculum and relevance. For this, employers need to be put in the driving seat, with the government aiding and abetting industry efforts. India has its task cut out. The Government is trying to do its bit and has given skill development a huge push. It is time for the industry to catalyse investments and raise resources for training.
Source: Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship
Author: Anil Sardana, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Tata Power
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