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The challenge of skills development is utmost importance in the economic development of nation today. The lack of an adequately skilled workforce is now regarded as a main obstacle to sustain the current rate of growth. The concern over skills development is also of social importance.
A majority of the workforce has been left behind, untouched by the benefits of the current economic boom because their poor education and skill level prevents them from seizing gainful employment opportunities. The challenge for skill development in India is broad, complex and multidimensional, covering both quantitative and qualitative aspects. It is complicated because of the size of the population, combined with vast geographical, cultural and social diversities.
The requirement of training is not just to those entering the labour force for the first time, or to those currently unemployed to help build their employability, it also needs to be available to the existing workforce in order to maintain their employability, build productivity .Very few opportunities for skill development are available for young people who have dropped out of school or are workers in the unorganized sector.
The problem is most severe for women and vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, ST/SC/OBC, minority communities. Most formal training requires a minimum of 10th standard as an entry requirement, which precludes a large number of school drop-outs and other people with no or limited education, from receiving formal training. The duration of the training is too long, often 2-3 years, and requires full-time attendance, which workers cannot afford.