Budget 2021 | What skilling industry players expect this time

The success of Aatmanirbhar Bharat will largely depend upon an inclusive approach
Last Updated 28 January 2021, 16:20 IST

By Vikram Kumar,

  • The top-of-the-list industry demand is an effective and smooth digital infrastructure besides creation of a standardised protocol for skill mapping and assessment
  • The wish list also demands a separate vernacular fund in a phase-wise manner

With over eight million graduates across streams entering the job market this financial year, India has quite a robust pool of fresh talent, unfortunately, the relevant talent supply is only 20%. It is imperative to create a sustainable and scalable skilling and hiring ecosystem leveraging technology to improve employability as well as meeting industry demands.

Strengthening a skill mapping, skill enhancing/ upgrading and hiring ecosystem: The government should look at creating a standardised way towards mapping talent, the industry skill demands and transforming talent to meet those needs basis a credible assessment mechanism in place, to have a productively employable pool ready.

The learning and skilling players need a policy with a sharp focus on creating an organised skilling ecosystem, going beyond vocational education and training, which implicates a structured skill mapping, development and industry connect while aligning with the skill needs of the 21st century and Industry 4.0 ecosystem.

Introduced under Vande Bharat mission, Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support (SWADES) Skill card could serve as a pilot. SWADES Skill Card’s deliberated and dedicated mechanism to map the skills of the returning citizens, create a database of the talent pool, and link them to relevant job opportunities in different sectors could be further replicated for general public/ youth’s benefit.

Innovative Credit schemes: The ecosystem can be reinforced with the introduction of innovative small scale credit schemes with simple and flexible terms for individuals/ freshers, which would enable easy availability and accessibility of funds for skill development to them.

Creating a strong digital infrastructure along with a robust back-end protocol including data protection. This can be done by mobilising immediate dedicated funds for engaging more public-private partnerships to match the scale and speed that our country’s length and breadth necessitates.

Tax-exemptions as an incentive: Focus on increasing employability and encouraging educational institutions and students by giving tax exemptions on the amount being spent on skill enhancement and development. A five-year income tax break and additional funds/ incentives on measured performance, basis the assessing body’s delivery and outreach matrix, would serve as a source of encouragement to the ed-tech and skill providing start-ups in India.

The success of Aatmanirbhar Bharat will largely depend upon an inclusive approach, be it any plan or programme. If we are not hitting the rural rungs of the country, which consists of 75% of the Indian population, our dream of becoming the Skill Capital of the world will remain a fantasy. Therefore, the industry’s wish list also demands a separate vernacular fund in a phase-wise manner.

(The author is the CEO of Lrnable Group)

(Published 28 January 2021, 11:03 IST)

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