NGOs tweak skilling programmes to cope with Covid times

NGOs tweak skilling programmes to cope with Covid-19 times

NGO programmes had to be tweaked to train people to work in jobs that are not contact intensive

 Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

Priyanka Pawar of Maharashtra's Kharghar had to discontinue her studies owing to her family's financial constraints and found it difficult to land up a job due to the Covid-19 pandemic due to her lack of skill sets required.

Nitin Baliyan in Delhi too had to discontinue his studies as his father and two brothers who supported him financially lost jobs during the pandemic.

With Covid-19 playing havoc with the lives of millions and impacting the job market, it was difficult for them to find jobs but a change by the non-profit sector in their skilling programmes helped youth, including Pawar and Baliyan, find jobs.

Pawar now works as an accountant after gaining knowledge in mutual funds, shares and insurance while Baliyan has landed up as a General Duty Assistant who deals with patient skincare, bed sores management, patient safety and handling biomedical waste.

Those involved in the NGO sector say that several of their skilling programmes, which had to do more with physical contact like beautician courses, had to be shelved as Covid-19 rampaged, since people preferred not to engage with such professionals fearing contracting the virus through physical contact.

"The pandemic has changed the job landscape and the non-profit sector also has to look at helping its beneficiaries. We had to tweak our skilling programmes to incorporate jobs that have less to do with physical contact like digital marketing, BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance) etc. That was a challenge before us," Santanu Mishra, co-founder and Executive Trustee of Smile Foundation, said.

With changing times, Mishra's NGO introduced business process outsourcing course, e-logistic course in management of flow of goods and digital marketing course among others. He said Smile Foundation has trained over 47,000 youth through its e-learning programmes and more than 28,000 of them have been placed in over 200 brands through 95 operational projects across India.

Those involved with the non-profit sector said that there is an upsurge in demand for workers in health sector, a point emphasised by the Union Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, which has launched the 'Customized Crash Course Programme for Covid-19 Frontline Workers'.

The Ministry plans to train about one lakh Covid-19 warriors in six healthcare-related job roles as well as about 2,800 drivers for handling and transportation of Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) across the country.

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