Now Loading

Building a Skilled India for the Future Job Market; NSDCs Vision shared with ObserveNow

New Delhi: The National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) plays a pivotal role in shaping the evolving landscape of skill development in India. Established to address the persistent skill gap in the country, NSDC adopts a holistic approach by collaborating with industry stakeholders, educational institutions, and government bodies. This multi-stakeholder partnership ensures a comprehensive strategy to enhance the employability of the workforce.

As industries evolve, NSDC remains at the forefront, identifying future trends and fostering innovations in skill development to align with the dynamic demands of the job market. By focusing on collaboration and innovation, NSDC aims to bridge the skill gap and contribute to the nation’s economic growth. In this regard Shivani Babbar, ObserveNow interacted with Dr Maneesh Mishra, Executive VP- Strategy NSDC.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview:

Can you provide an overview of NSDC’s current strategic priorities and how they align with the organization’s mission and vision?

NSDC is committed to preparing a skilled workforce for the current and future market demand. This on the one hand is about understanding and catering to internal demand for enhanced productivity and helping India position itself as the skill capital of the world, on the other. It focuses on providing opportunities for upskilling and reskilling to the current workforce in addition to skilling the future entrants to the workforce. This is being done in partnership with industry, recruitment, and staffing companies. NSDC offerings such as short-term government-funded programs, market-led offerings, and apprenticeship opportunities for youth are all being revamped to make them relevant and aspirational. Skilling for overseas employment is being done in close partnerships with various countries such as KSA, Japan, UAE, and new and emerging markets in Europe.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of skill development, what role does NSDC play in shaping policies and strategies to address emerging challenges and opportunities?

NSDC since its inception has worked towards catalyzing the skilling landscape by bringing in various stakeholders such as the employers, the providers the trainees, the assessors, and govt on one platform. It has been the architect of the skilling ecosystem by creating and building capacities of the stakeholders, financing skill training, and developing co-funded programs with various private and public sector entities. The evolving skill landscape of today calls for strengthening the ecosystem so that the workforce is prepared for the Future of Work. The way to do this is through a partnership with the industry to assess and anticipate skilling needs, development of programs, and ubiquitous delivery. The Skill India Digital platform brings in various providers on a single platform and provides an opportunity for learners to learn at their own pace at any time of their choice. It also brings other services such as financing, verification of credentials, provider rating, and a range of assessment and certification services. 

How does NSDC collaborate with industry stakeholders, educational institutions, and government bodies to ensure a holistic approach to skill development? 

The NEP 2020 has necessitated that skilling is not seen as a separate subject but as one that is integral to education. NSDC leveraging its reach and network of industry, SSCs, apex institutions, etc, is providing a platform for the creation of market-relevant programs that can be embedded with school and HEI curricula. It has partnered with many institutions such as IITs and IITMs and various industry bodies to make sure that the skilling content and curricula stay current. It is also leveraging the premier educational institutions to deliver quality programs to a large number of trainees through the use of digital technologies. It is working with many ministries (in addition to MSDE which is the nodal ministry for skills) and state government departments to ensure easy access to quality skill training. It is working with staffing companies and clusters of MSMEs, Civil society organizations, and institutions that promote entrepreneurship in rural and urban settings.

What are the key focus areas and initiatives that NSDC is currently undertaking to bridge the skill gap in the country? 

NSDC is working with a lot of providers to offer market relevant training programs. Through the National Apprenticeship Program, it is targeting to provide work-based training to over a million trainees this year in the real work setting.  The MSME clusters are being brought under apprenticeship so that not only their need for trained employees is met swiftly but also the candidates gain invaluable in situ training. NSDC is also the nodal agency for conducting India skills and World skills. It is working with school boards AICTE and UGC to take competitive skilling to educational institutions. It has also credited the world skills qualifications under the National Credit framework so that the contestants get credits for learning apart from competing at the highest levels.

With the increasing importance of technology and digital skills, how is NSDC adapting its strategies to incorporate these elements into skill development programs?

NSDC is working on future skills programs with leading industry players. MSDE’s Skill India digital (SID) platform which has been developed by NSDC provides a range of programs on AI, Machine learning, IoT, Cybersecurity, semi conducts, etc. The PMKVY, the flagship skilling program is also focusing on new age and digital skills. NSDC is working with academia to develop digital fluency early in students so that they find it easy to learn new skills when they need them in the future.  NSDC and SSCs have been working with various industry players and academia to set up a Center of Excellence, in Telecom, electronics, IT, etc to provide an opportunity for students to learn new age skills. The SID is also proving a useful platform for enabling the members of the workforce who need bite-sized learning to employ that in a work–learn–work mode.

Looking ahead, what are the future trends and innovations in the field of skill development, and how is NSDC preparing to stay ahead of these trends?

NSDC is investing in technology and innovations so that it can have a system of anticipating skill requirements and quickly responding to them. In addition to this, it is experimenting with a variety of ideas such as Social impact bonds where the focus of skilling is on generating measurable and quantifiable impact. It is also working with players to structure the apprenticeship-embedded higher education program to provide learners an opportunity to learn critical work skills in addition to completing their education. Its focus on research and deepening of participation with industry both in India and abroad will help NSDC offer market-relevant skilling.

Tags: Governance