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Skilling For The World

Bhubaneswar; Usha Padhee, Principal Secretary Skill Development and Technical Education has said that the efforts of the State Government in tying up with international partners like ITEES and ADB for setting up the World Skill Center, opening up avenues for international placements for the trainees, bringing laurels for the country from the World Skills competition and benchmarking various initiatives against international best practices demonstrates sincere efforts for Skilling Odisha.

The session on Skill Development in Odisha carried the theme” Skilling for the World”. The brand Skilled in Odisha has been created with the intention of drawing national and international attention to the skilling ecosystem in Odisha.

The session started with providing the context in which skilling becomes imperative for India and Odisha, being home to one of the youngest population in the world.

The growth in labour force has to be met with a concomitant growth in opportunities for skilling. The demographic dividend of the nation is slated to peak by 2041. The skilling requirements have be to organised keeping in view this enormous opportunity. The twin issues of access and quality of technical education discussed, which reflects in the number of youth obtaining technical education and the percentage who are employable, from among those who are trained.

Odisha is well poised to tap the opportunity as the GSDP of the state is growing at a higher level than the national average, generating more jobs in the process. The session deliberated on the twin pillars of access and quality in the sectors of long term skilling (ITIs and Polytechnics) and short term skilling(PLTP,PMKVY and DDU-GKY).

The commitment towards both these seemingly hard-to-achieve twin goals has been addressed to some extent through the establishment of the World Skill Center, which works in a hub-and – spoke model with the ITIs and Polytechnics. The challenges were also discussed which include skewed distribution of training infrastructure, inadequate coverage when compared to the youth population, gender inequality in technical education and lesser industry connect with the skilling institutions.

The roadmap towards a stronger skilling system includes creating pathways between mainstream and vocational education in line with the NEP, tailor made solutions for skilling people who are traditionally excluded, making districts the fulcrum of skill development by bolstering the skill development committees, moving towards skilling in new age areas etc.

Kalahandi district showcased various initiatives in skilling including the mega drive undertaken for employing girls in Tata Electronics Systems Ltd and for graduate trainees in Vedanta. Block Welfare Extension Officer has been designated as the Nodal Officer of Skill Development to create synergy between various initiatives at the block level for skill development activities.

Student counseling activities to generate awareness about opportunities and employment drives for youth are some of the other initiatives. In long term skilling, the extension center of CTTC has been opened in the ITI Bhawanipatna campus so that ITI students can get advanced training. Keonjhar district has successfully used funds from DMF and OMBADC to further skilling in mining areas so that the youth can profit from the opportunities in the sector.

Some of the initiatives include the CoEs in ITI Barbil, OSME Keonjhar and the GCE Keonjhar. The JN Tata Vocational institute is a fine example of industry led skilling. In short term skilling, the heavy motor vehicle driving training centre in Jhumpura and the Tassar Skill Park in Bhagamunda offer training in roles which are suited for the local requirements. The district also presented the initiatives it has planned to strengthen district based skill courses like agri tools, solar pumps, cold storages etc.