BHUBANESWAR: Odisha’s efforts to increase employability of youths through skill development is set for a huge boost with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) coming forward to join hands with the Government to broad-base the initiatives and back them with qualitative infrastructure and facilities.
The ADB has pledged Rs 660 crore support to the State Government for implementing an ambitious Odisha Skill Development Project (OSDP) which envisages to address issues of employability and ensure achievement of time-bound targets.
The project will be undertaken by Odisha State Employment Mission (OSEM) over six years with an estimated cost of Rs 1,050 crore, of which the State Government will contribute Rs 390 crore.
It has already received the Central nod and is set to be taken up by the State Cabinet soon. The project would be rolled out by the beginning of 2015-16 fiscal and will continue till 2021-22.
The demand for skilled workforce in the State is estimated to grow from 7.6 million in 2011 to 13.6 million by 2026.
The major areas are construction, textile and apparel, driving and manufacturing, healthcare assistants, hospitality, IT&ITES, retail, telecom, banking and security.
The OSDP will lay a roadmap for effective skill development in the State. While strengthening facilities and training apparatus, it will also assist in improvement in the modules and rationalisation of trades in consonance with the market requirement.
Around 14 ITIs and several multi-disciplinary centres will be set up under the project, Director OSEM, Pramod Kumar Panda said on Tuesday. Participating in Ideate-2014, a panel discussion on ‘Rural India to Skilled India: Unleashing Avenues” organised by Bansidhar and Ila Panda Foundation on Tuesday, Panda said the target was to churn out at least two lakh highly skilled and job-ready youths per year.
However, experts and stakeholders have underscored a pressing need for revisiting the Government framework on skill development. There should be a change in certification system by drawing universities to enhance credibility and demand, said Managing Director and CEO, IL&FS Cluster Development, RCM Reddy.
Use of technology like internet and multimedia for delivery of skills at rural centres has also become imperative to tide over the lack of qualified trainers in the field, he added.
Chaired by Foundation CEO Shaifalika Panda, the event was attended by Director of Nettur Technical Training Foundation N Arulselvan, Ratnesh from UNDP and FICCI advisor BP Pant, among others.