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Making youth ready for job: 12 ’employability skills’ to be added across courses, sectors

A dozen modules of essential and common ‘employability skills‘ will be added mandatorily across all skill-based qualifications and vocational courses being offered by various institutes in the country to ensure candidates are ‘job ready’ and in step with industry requirements.

Work is afoot to offer nearly 300 ‘future skill’ courses ranging from drone technology to EVs and Internet of Things to up the employability quotient of India’s vast youth population.

Up to 10% of all skill-based courses across all educational and vocational streams/bodies will coach and assess students on basic English familiarity, digital literacy, customer/people interface and basic Constitutional tenets such as citizenship, diversity and gender sensitivity, it was agreed at a July 13 meeting between key stakeholders involved in the education and skilling ministries besides education regulators.

Four National Occupational Standards (NOSs) of 120 hours, 90 hours, 60 hours and 30 hours respectively — depending on course duration and structure — have been designed by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) for rollout across ITIs, training centres and possibly even conventional educational institutes, ET has learnt.

These will be spread across 12 modules/components and include i) Introduction to employability skills ii) constitutional values – citizenship iii) Becoming a professional in the 21st century iv) basic English skills v) career development & goal setting vi) communication skills vii) diversity and inclusion viii) financial and legal literacy ix) essential digital skills x) entrepreneurship xi) customer service xii) getting ready for apprenticeship and jobs.

The 12 new modules are being added based on feedback on how passouts with due certification were often found short of required modern day skills and work etiquette.

Both, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) which regulates all technical education in the country as well as industry feedback had flagged off these shortcomings that were impacting recruitment and retention of employees.

The idea is to ensure that the job roles/skilling courses are holistic and cater to the dynamic industry needs by imparting the trainees with adequate employability skills (ES), officials in the know told ET.

At a June 30 meeting of the National Skill Qualification Council (NSQC), all Awarding bodies have been directed to mandatorily include these in all the existing NSQF aligned and approved qualifications. The same was shared with all stakeholder departments at the July 13 meeting of the National Council of Vocational Education & Training (NCVET).

There will, however, be flexibility to select any of the four NOSs but ensuring that it should be equal to approximately 10% of the total duration of the job role/ qualification.

The Centre is also working on developing a range of ‘future skills’ across domains such as drone technology, internet of things, robotics, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence and machine learning, 5G technologies and mechatronics among others.

216 such skill qualifications have been approved and aligned by the NCVET and another 84 are likely to be added to the set of ‘future skills’ to improve employability and attune the education/skill levels of youngsters to industry dynamic.

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