Microsoft’s YouthSpark to train 35,000 youth by 2016

|July 16, 2015 0

MUMBAI, INDIA: Welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s goal to develop a bank of skilled India through his National Mission for Skill Development (NMSD), software major Microsoft said that it will train more than 35,000 youths in the next 18 months.

“Our digital literacy, skill building and entrepreneurship programs have touched 5 crore people in 20 states across India over the last decade. Continuing this commitment, we will soon commence a large scale digital literacy project under the global Microsoft YouthSpark program for marginalized communities, with a special focus on girls and young women. This program will run across 70 YouthSpark-Project Jyoti centers and is expected to train more than 35,000 young people in the next 18 months,” informed Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India.

Pramanik said that the launch of Skill India Mission is crucial to support growth across sectors and the economy, at large. The launch of a skills mission of this scale will make the training efforts more systematic and will ensure a workforce which is professionally skilled and meets industry needs.



“We believe that private sector participation can complement the government’s skill development mission. At Microsoft, we have always been focused on enhancing skills and competency in India and contributing towards building a strong workforce of skilled professionals,” he stated.

As of today, the proportion of working age population in India will increase steadily over the next two decades, contrary to most countries. Over 15 million people enter the labor market every year; over 30 million are employed in the organized sector and over 450 million in the unorganized sector. The existing capacity falls way short of skilling these people.

IESA welcomes the launch of the mission since it targets to harness the country’s demographic dividend through appropriate and large scale skill development effort, which in turn should make India a country of choice to address global skill shortage.

This initiative in tandem with the Make in India initiative should result in good diversity in skills and high employment outcome via a public-private partnership, said Vinay Shenoy, Chairman, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA).

“Skill India is the need of the hour. With 120 million additional skilled workforce required in the India by 2022, there needs to be a focused approach to achieve the nation’s workforce demand. We are in sync with the Government to involve private players in the nation’s skill development program. As the government intends to empower India’s youth with skills that meet industry need to promote entrepreneurship and enhance employment opportunities,” added MN Vidyashankar, President, IESA.

Shrikant Shitole, Managing Director, India, Symantec, was of the view that the Indian government’s decision to create common norms across the whole spectrum of skill development programs is aligned with the National Skills Qualification Framework.

This outcome-based approach would help create conducive ecosystem for blended and continuous learning and re-skilling; standardized certification against relevant curriculum; and creating real job opportunities.

It must be noted that Symantec recently partnered with NASSCOM to train 50,000 certified cyber security professionals.

India Inc has responded to the PM’s statement that India has the potential to emerge as the human resource capital of the world as China has become a global manufacturing factory.

As a part of the initiative, the PM launched the National Mission for Skill Development to provide the overall institutional framework to rapidly implement and scale up skill development efforts across India.

The mission has set a target to skill 24 lakh workers this year and 40.2 crore workers by 2022. It will be led by a governing council which will be chaired by the PM and include ministers for finance, skill development and entrepreneurship, human resource development, rural development, labor and employment, overseas affairs, information technology, deputy chairman of NITI Aayog and three chief ministers as members.

The PM also launched the new National Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Policy 2015, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and a skill loan scheme to encourage more youth to take up vocational training.

Pointing out that 65 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 35, Modi said the key priority is to create employment opportunities for the youth as well as create avenues to skill them in a structured manner to improve their employability.

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