VEDIC way to prepare youth for employment

VEDIC way to prepare youth for employment

VEDIC way to prepare youth for employment

India today is one of the youngest nations in the world with more than 62% of the population in the working age group (15-59 years), and more than 54% of the total population below 25 years of age. Going forward, the country’s population pyramid is expected to “bulge” across the 15–59 age group.

It is further estimated that the average age of the population in India by 2020 will be 29 years as against 40 years in the US, 46 years in Europe and 47 years in Japan. In fact, in next 20 years the labour force in the industrialised world will decline by 4%, while in India it will increase by 32%.

This poses both a challenge and an opportunity. To reap this demographic dividend over next 25 years and turn this challenge into an opportunity, India needs to equip its workforce with employable skills and knowledge so that the youth can participate productively to make India a developed economy.

A recent study by UNDP on how changing demographics can power human development too highlights this issue. It says that if countries like India in the Asia-Pacific region do not start planning for demographic changes, they will miss out on a unique opportunity to boost growth and investments for the future, risking a surge in youth frustration and exacerbating instability.

“When countries have a greater share of people who can work, save and pay taxes, they have the potential to transform their economies and power investments in healthcare, education and other building blocks of future prosperity,” said UNDP’s chief economist Thangavel Palanivel, who is the lead author.

The study calls for immediate responses and outlines “9 Actions for Sustainable Development”– concrete policies tailored to the demographic profile of individual countries. For states with a large working-age population, the UNDP is calling for the creation of decent jobs to match the growing workforce. For countries with young population, the agency says there is a need to invest in education and healthcare, encourage youth participation in public life and smooth the transition from school to work.
India has been struggling to find skilled workforce and make this smooth transition from school to work. It currently faces a dual challenge of severe paucity of highly-trained, quality labour, as well as non-employability of large sections of the educated workforce that possess little or no job skills.

One key aspect that needs to complement a successful skill strategy is entrepreneurship, which can be a key source of employment generation and economic development in India. Given the changed landscape in the country, entrepreneurship opportunities have emerged as an important source of meeting the aspirations of the youth.

It is keeping in mind this futuristic need that leading educationist from Ahmedabad Manjula Shroff and her team established Vocational and Educational Development Institute of Calorx (VEDIC).  “VEDIC was set up on June 14, 2010, primarily to address the skilled manpower needs of the industry. We began with a vision to evolve vocational and educational initiatives in collaboration with industry to create an extensive ‘skill resource pool’ thereby empowering the economy in a socially sustainable manner. And our mission since then remains to develop and nurture a national centre of excellence in vocational skill development and augment employability by anticipating and bridging skill gaps in an industrialised ecosystem,” says Shroff.

VEDIC begins with very young children and set up VEDIC Education Center under Scholarship Model at Delhi Public School-Bopal, Ahmedabad. The centre provides free education, free study material, free transportation and free uniforms to urban slum children/students from deprived section of society.

Every year 30 students are selected on merit basis through VEDIC–YUVA entrance test across 125 municipal schools of Ahmedabad and offered scholarships by leading institutions such as HDFC and other philanthropic contributors. The key focus remains on creating employment opportunities for underprivileged children by teaching them vocational skills to earn money.

As part of its initiative, VEDIC has also established Rotary Vedic Apparel Training Center to address skill gaps in garment sector and to provide livelihood to urban and rural youth. The centre offers “free of charge” training, transportation and placements to the rural and urban youth in the age category of 18 to 35 years. The centre also contributes towards women empowerment, livelihood solutions, skill enhancement, life skills for day-to-day life of urban and rural youth.

 In each batch 18-24 candidates are trained through 270 hrs for basic stitching machine operator, two-month duration shirt /other apparels making, including on the job training.  So far VEDIC has trained and placed 700 urban and rural youth in last 5 years, including trainees from 47 villages of Daskroi taluka in rural Ahmedabad.

“VEDIC has provided more than 100 trained workforce for Ashima Garments. The training methodology adopted and found match with Ashima quality standard,” Rakesh Shrivastava, COO, Ashima Garments, Ahmedabad.

At VEDIC the strong belief is in the words of Frederick W Robertson, who said, “instruction ends in the school room but education ends only with life.”

To carry forward its motto, VEDIC now plans to open multi-skill school at Godhra in central Gujarat and Kadi near Ahmedabad. It plans to offer courses in construction, textiles, retail, green practices, ecology and on environment. It also plans to scale its training centres at three locations in Ahmedabad.

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