The linkages between education, skill development, and employment in India reveals a complex and evolving landscape. Skill development bridges the gap between conventional educational qualifications and industry-specific competencies, thereby enhancing employability and productivity. While initiatives like – Skill India Mission and SANKALP have transformed the skilling landscape, challenges persist in translating education and skills into employment opportunities.
- Link Between Education and Skill: Education is the starting point for skill development and employment. Educational institutions provide the foundational knowledge that is necessary for understanding complex subjects. However, specialized skill development programs like the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan component of Samagra Shiksha Abhiyan with integration of Vocational training Centres offer targeted vocational and technical skills training.
- Skill to Employment: Once trained, individuals are far more employable. For example, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) in India has trained over 1.2 million youth in specialized skills, achieving a placement rate of approximately 70% according to reports up to 2020. These individuals then contribute to sectors which were previously suffering from a skills shortage, making these industries more efficient and globally competitive.
- Education to Employment: Conventional education often lacks practical elements required for job readiness. Here, the role of Internshala or apprenticeship programs under the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) comes into play. They provide a platform where theoretical knowledge can be tested and applied in real-world settings, offering a direct transition from education to employment.
- Feedback Loop: Employers, in collaboration with educational institutions and skill development programs, can help in updating the curriculum to meet industry demands. Industry led Skill Set Councils under PMKVY provide the link between Industry and the National Skill Development Corporation implementing the Skill India Scheme.
To further strengthen the linkages, the Government of India has created a Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in 2015 with a unified Labour Management Information System to ensure co-ordination between more than 20 ministries working with education and skill development to redress any existing concerns. Progressive efforts are under way in realizing the full potential of the demographic dividend of India.