A tech push to India’s skill education at India International Trade Fair 2016
Data from the Census 2011 and 68th round of the National Sample Survey revealed than an estimated 10.4 crore fresh workers would enter the labour market and require skill training by 2022, and 29.8 crore of the existing workforce will require additional skill training over the same time period.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Skill India mission plans to skill 40.2 crore workers by 2022.
In order to bring scale and speed to the Prime Minister’s Skill India Program, many educational institutions have come up with programs providing additional skill education to their students in order to upskill them and make them industry ready.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), at the India International Trade Fair 2016 announced the extensive use of modern technology and digital solutions in skill trainings that the youth will experience across the nation.
The theme of Digital India showcased an array of interactive and digital solutions to make skills more aspirational for the youth. Select priority sectors of Skill India like Automotive, IT, Construction, Telecom, Furniture and Furnishings, Plumbing, displayed digital initiatives to showcase how they are using modern technology to give hands-on training to candidates.
According to Rudy, “Our National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015 envisages to leverage modern technology to ensure scale, access and outreach in skill trainings, along with bringing about ease in delivering content and monitoring results. Hence to scale up our endeavours, we are soon introducing digital, virtual and augmented reality based solutions that will bring scale, speed with standards to our ecosystem. The use of digital solutions like these increases the learning absorption capacity of individuals to a tune of 12 times.”
The Skill India Pavilion at the IITF showcases how advance technological solutions are being integrated in skill trainings in our country today to ensure that we meet world class requirements and standards.
It has interesting and interactive solutions which can be tried out by the youth at the venue itself like Motor Dexterity set up by Maruti to test motor skills of a person, welding simulators where one can get immediate results on their welding skills, interactive mobile solutions that will teach you how to repair parts of a mobile, gesture games, interactive panels and digital display mapping the entire skill ecosystem.
With a target of skilling and providing sustainable livelihood to more than 40 million by 2022, there is an urgent need to utilise technology for increasing the quality of skilling as well as expanding the outreach.
Rudy further added, “These technologies have less differentiation from an education standpoint, which makes them easy to adapt to. This is quite relevant to the population that the Skill India Mission is targeting - school drop-outs, adolescent girls, rural youth from disadvantaged geographies and social groups, people with disabilities etc. There is enough evidence to suggest that the cognitive power of children and youth in India could be limited due to widespread malnutrition and low learning outcomes of the primary education system. These technologies, when appropriately integrated, have the potential to break the entry-point barriers to access skilling.”
Skilling workforce in heavy equipment trades like aerospace, mining, offshore oil rig, telecommunications etc. is a challenge as the equipment and infrastructure required for such trainings are often expensive and thus conventional training environments are not particularly effective unless embedded in the work environment. With AR/VR, both these environments can be simulated in a small classroom.
In addition, finding efficient and equipped trainers to standardise the delivery of high level training is also challenging. The use of such technology could also supplement the trainer’s capability to deliver trainings and help in the assessment as well.
India is slowly moving towards becoming a skilled nation. However, there’s need and opportunity for more skill training institutions, skill universities and vocational training schools. There’s also a need for corporate to welcome skilled employees more openly. As Franz Probst, Founder and Chairman, SkillSonics, puts it, “India has a huge potential in the vocational education and training sector.”