The impetus for skill development and vocational education in India is largely directed towards leveraging the demographic dividend. There is a widespread realization that without skilling and skill upgradation of the youth of the country, we cannot develop further and fulfil the aspirations of our youth. This book gives practical insights into how India can go about its skilling programs with the help of exemplary interventions from the Textile and Apparel sector. A ‘RUNWay’ that comprises Reskilling, Upskilling and New Skilling forms the core of the book, bringing to the fore, the need to revitalize our approach to skilling as a means to enhanced employability and economic development.
Based on vast experience and expertise, the book delves deeper into how demand-driven skilling could take Indian industry to newer heights, enhance employability of women and youth, and accelerate economic growth by focusing on the local and rural economy. At the same time, there is sustained focus on the use of digital technologies to meet the challenges of skill development in the post-COVID-19 scenario.
The book starts by discussing the need for a skilling revolution in India and the ways in which this dream can turn into a reality. With a firm belief that India’s demographic dividend is yet to be utilised, a significant part of the book discusses how we bring in requisite changes from policy to practice by involving various stakeholders.
The emphasis on revisiting how training programs are designed and delivered in the context of ‘going local and digital’ clearly indicates India’s future lies in reviving local crafts and create an ecosystem that supports self-employment and entrepreneurship.
One cannot evaluate the quality of skills without presenting at a global stage and without meeting the global standards. Here lies the importance of the WorldSkills competitions. The industries must aspire to manufacture products that meet global standards and increase exports from the country. Skilling in India cannot just be about training and upgrading of the youth, it must ensure sustainable and equitable development of societies and communities. The local art and crafts of India provide the country with a range of niche skills that could be utilised for sustainable livelihoods. This opens up a space for having a Crafts University that recognises and skills youth in the regional crafts and arts of India. E-commerce is one of the ways in which local skills of India can be marketed to consumers worldwide.
This books stresses on the importance of Reskilling, Upskilling and New skilling as the means to achieve developmental goals of a ‘Skilled India’. This is illustrated with examples from the Apparel and Fashion industry that employs a majority of skilled professionals and have a major role to play in making India creative capital of the world. As the textile and apparel sector, every sector needs to be reinvented for making our youth ready for the future. Every industry needs to cater to the present and future demands of women and youth.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can play a vital role in bringing about high-quality skill training and development courses across industries in the country. CSR can help in the socioeconomic development of the people. The importance of soft skills is highlighted in this book to help the youth succeed in the job market in the long run.
The COVID-19 crisis has paved the way for digital education and training. This crisis must also encourage the mushrooming of e-commerce, especially for the local arts and crafts. As this book would argue, the digital platforms can help local businesses from any corner in India to make a mark in the global markets. E-commerce platforms can help women-run businesses in rural as well as semi-rural areas to reach consumers worldwide.
The industry and education of youth must exist alongside each other. There should be training courses for the youth that make them future-ready. In the COVID-19 crisis, we have resorted to digital forms of learning, and we must encourage digital learning and skilling in the future as well. Reskilling, upskilling and new skilling can pave the path of success for India.