Skill Deficit Holding Country Back - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

Skill Deficit Holding Country Back

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 28, 2024 11:59 pm

India must improve the standard of human development by making huge investments in the education sector to be counted among the developed nations by 2047. At present, the country is far behind the developed nations in terms of skill development, which is not allowing India to benefit from its huge labour force, negating the advantage of the demographic dividend. For the record, the average Indian worker has less than eight years of education, which is significantly lower than China, where workers have 14 years of education on average. Similarly, merely 5% of Indian workers have received formal skill training, which is pathetic to say the least as the percentage of skilled workers is as high as 80% to 90% in developed nations. It demonstrates that schemes to provide skill training to youths have failed to deliver results, and there is an urgent need to reconsider schemes for improving human capital and enhancing skills.

In its quest to be counted among the world’s top developed nations, India should take a leaf out of the book of another Asian giant, South Korea, which has stunned the entire world with its rapid transition from developing to developed nation. During that period, South Korea made sufficient investments in key sectors and also gave equal importance to human development. As a result, the country has experienced phenomenal growth in all sectors, from industry to sports. While South Korea managed to pose a stiff challenge to the automobile industry in Japan, it has also been able to establish itself as a sporting powerhouse on the continent, along with China and Japan. India needs to emulate South Korea if the country wants to turn its dream into a reality. In this regard, India should implement its Apprenticeship (Amendment) Rules, 2019 properly so that companies having more than 30 workers should have around 2.5% to 15% apprentices in their total workforce in a financial year. This will help India have enough skilled labourers, as at present the share of formal apprentices in a 570 million workforce is just 0.1%. It needs to be increased by at least 3% to 4% within the next five years.

So it is important to provide skill training to the populace as early as possible by incorporating it with academics. Germany has benefited the most from vocational training integrated into school education. As such an outlook has largely remained absent in the country’s curriculum, the number of educated unemployed youths has gone up, creating a serious shortage of skilled labourers. By giving equal importance to skill development along with academics, the country may also lessen the number of school dropouts as it will offer an alternative for those students who are not interested in formal studies. Besides, this will help India have enough skilled labourers to successfully implement a USD 1.5 trillion infrastructure development push, which may help India become a global manufacturing and export hub.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 28, 2024 11:59:12 pm
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