BANGALORE: Deputy Chair man of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said that it was imperative for the nation to focus on skill development mainly if it is to even consider a growth rate of nine per cent.
He was speaking here on Tuesday at the foundation stone-laying ceremony for a multi-skill development centre in Bangalore.
“Skills do not just mean higher education. Only six per cent of our employed labour has had education,” Ahluwalia said, adding that in his opinion the major area of focus should be inclusive skill development. “These Multi-skill Development Centres are proof of inclusive skill development as the same technology will be used to teach students in both Gulbarga and Bangalore,” he said.
Stating that the population expansion in the country had been slowing down, Ahluwalia highlighted India’s growing numbers of a young workforce.
“This workforce will be useful only if the people being added everyday are educated and trained to do their jobs,” he said.
Ahluwalia also urged the state government to experiment with various models for introducing skill development amongst the workforce in the state.
The skill development centres are the result of a tie-up between the Government of Karnataka and GIZ Germany which will be providing technical assistance to the project.
They are being built at a cost of `40 crore each. This will be the first pilot project in the country and Government of India will be giving `32.23 crore as financial assistance.
The centres will offer courses like CCNA, advanced welding, embedded system design, CNC programming and operation and other courses. Each centre is expected to train close to 1,000 people annually.
Union Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, also present at the function, said that the government had given its approval for the setting up of 1,500 Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) via PPP along with 5,000 Skill Development Centres.
“The Central government has accepted the proposal and it has been forwarded to the Planning Commission for consideration. I request Ahluwalia to look into it,” he said.
Kharge also stated that ITIs were now being asked to work in 3 shifts in order to train more people.
Also present were Labour Minister B N Bacchegowda, MP D B Chandregowda, Counsul General of Federal Republic of Germany Dr Ingo Karsten and Secretary of Ministry of Labour, GoI, Mrutyunjay Sarangi.