Economic empowerment has to precede social empowerment

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Aditya Sabharwal

Skilling today’s youth is undoubtedly one of the most herculean tasks for a rapidly growing economy like India.

Identifying skill development and training as an imminent need for the country the national skill development mission was launched by the Prime Minister in 2015. The objective of this is to create convergence across sectors and states in terms of skill training activities.

Many in the private sector have long made skill development and training a top priority for their respective industries. One such company that has gained significant traction in doing this is the Tech Mahindra foundation.

As the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Indian IT giant Tech Mahindra, the Tech Mahindra foundation works in the areas of education, employability and disability.

Having started off with three centers in 2012 it has scaled to 125 centers working towards skilling India.

‘We believe economic empowerment has to precede social empowerment’ said Dr LoveleenKacker, CEO Tech Mahindra Foundation speaking exclusively to Vizag Industrial Scan.

Having begun with training in the services sector, the foundation has branched out into skilling in various other departments.

The services sector was a low hanging fruit wherein 50% of all beneficiaries were girls stated Dr Kacker.

With an 80% placement rate it then branched out into the technical expertise areas such as training for fitters, plumbers and electricians.

Technical training is where we made a breakthrough said Dr Kacker. Having found success here, the foundation went on to training in paramedical, where she says a huge gap exists.

‘Today we have 4 medical centers offering 6 diploma courses with a 90% placement rate’ said the CEO of Tech Mahindra foundation.

Another area where the foundation is bullish on, is the logistics sector wherein the Vizagcenter plays a critical role. ‘In Vizag we focus on Multimedia and Logistics’ said Dr Kacker emphasizing that there is lot of scope for technical courses in the port city of Vizag. The foundation has had many learning’s along its way such as different skill interests across regions. 

‘We have seen a trend wherein girls from South India are more willing to try their hand at technical courses than their counterparts in other regions’ Dr Kacker said.

With all the foundation’s curriculum prepared in house, she says that the foundation first understands the requirement and then offers the courses. ‘Lot of due diligence and research is put into understanding where the shortage is’.

Dr Kacker however advocates for longer course durations and for all skilling centers to be linked to open schools.

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