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Skill Competitions: Collaboration with the industry to make vocational training aspirational for the youth in India

16 Aug 2019

Did you ever think a plumber could represent India? A carpenter, an electrician or a welder could bring the nation a medal? Or perhaps, an autobody repairer or car painter could position India at a global pedestal?

In less than a fortnight, the real makers of India would compete at the world’s biggest skill competition – WorldSkills Kazan 2019. Scheduled from 22nd to 27th August, the event will host competitions in 56 skills where more 1,500 competitors from 60 countries will participate to win laurels for their respective countries. The event includes competitions in bricklaying, beauty therapy, mobile robotics, cooking, painting and decorating among others.

For the first time, India will be participating in as many as 44 skills. In 2011, when National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) began leading India’s participation at WorldSkills, the country participated in 3 skills and unfortunately, won in none, finished 39th among 48 countries. 2015 saw the participation increased to 27 skills ending with a more promising result – 8 Medallions of Excellence. The last edition of WorldSkills in October 2017 brought out India’s best performance so far – 1 silver, 1 bronze and 9 Medallions of Excellence. Among the 56 countries, India stood 19th at this event. How did India progress so swiftly on the leaders board? From winning no medals in 2011, how did India become the proud winner one silver, one bronze and 9 Medallions of Excellence in 2017?

 Role of Industry and Government

The progression of Team India’s performance is a shining example of fruitful collaboration between industry, government and academic institutions. To discover the talent from the very grassroots of the country, the Government of India initiated IndiaSkills – skill competitions held at district, state, regional and national level. The first ever IndiaSkills was inaugurated by former President, Shri Pranab Mukherjee in 2016. Close to 50 leading corporates came forward to support the initiative and paved the way for India to imprint its presence at the international front during WorldSkills 2017.

With the dedicated commitment of the government and support from corporates and academic institutions alike, the second edition of IndiaSkills in 2018 saw participants from all over the country – from Jammu Kashmir to Andaman & Nicobar Islands, from Gujrat to Tripura. More than 50,000 people registered for IndiaSkills 2018. More than 500 skill competitions were held at district, state, regional and national level. Out of those thousands, 48 finalists have been selected to represent India at WorldSkills Kazan 2019.

Over 100 corporates including Maruti Suzuki, Festo, Saint Gobain to Larsen & Toubro, Raymond, Mahindra have become a part of the IndiaSkills journey. From providing infrastructure, training facilities, knowledge expertise to supporting the competitors and team at every step, the corporates have become an essential part of the WorldSkills India journey.

Industry Leaders Guide the Way

India with over 1.3 billion population is among the youngest country in the world. While China who is known for its manufacturing capacity, Germany for its automobile sector, India would soon be known and acknowledged for its human resource. With the demographic dividend and the sheer qualities possessed by the workforce in the country, India is bound to become the skill capital of the world. However, this is possible only through the collaborative efforts of industry, government and the academic institutions. And, undoubtedly it needs to go beyond corporate social responsibility.

Collaborating with WorldSkills India empowers the corporates to build global manpower and benchmark their standards with international norms. As they search for means to increase their efficiency and productivity, WorldSkills provides them with exceptional talent who have gained international exposure, competed with their peers across the world and are quick to adapt and learn new technologies. Many corporates are also hiring the winners and participants straight after the competitions as they realize the immense potential of this young brigade.

As we march on, once again with confidence and faith, towards the final step of the WorldSkills journey, we are sure our skill champions would bring home laurels, pride and respect. To watch the journey of WorldSkills India, watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGoTDL12xb0&t=5s

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