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98% of India's workforce are unskilled

Source: PTI
December 10, 2015 18:23 IST
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Currently, only 2.3 per cent of the Indian workforce has undergone skills training, compared to 68 per cent in the UK.

A whopping 97.7 per cent of India's workforce has not undergone skills training, and the country could benefit substantially from investment in vocational education and training (VET), a report has found.

The report commissioned by the City & Guilds Group indicates that India could benefit substantially from additional investment in vocational education and training.

However, a bias against vocational education, the lack of coherent delivery mechanisms at state level and a complex skills system is preventing the country from reaping the huge potential of its demographic dividend.

The report looks at the impact of investing in VET in four countries – India, the UK, the US and South Africa – and highlights how VET can have a significant impact on economies across the world.

In the UK, a 10 per cent increase in professional and technical skills over the next ten years could increase its GDP by 163 billion pounds by 2025.

In the UK and the US, a 10 percentage point increase in the number of 16-18 year olds enrolled in vocational education could lead to a 1.5 percentage point reduction in youth unemployment.

Currently, only 2.3 per cent of the Indian workforce has undergone skills training, compared to 68 per cent in the UK, so increasing investment in VET could see significant returns for India's economy.

Additionally, India is in a strong position to provide skilled labour where the rest of the world is forecast to experience a skills shortage, thanks to its booming youth population.

The report suggests that by 2022, the US will experience a shortfall of 17 million skilled workers while India will have a surplus of 47 million.

VET is therefore crucial not only for growth and development of India but also in helping to close the skills gap in other countries.

As per estimates of the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, India requires resources to the tune of about Rs 4 lakh crore to achieve the target of training nearly 500 million people while only Rs 15,000 crore (Rs 150 billion) has been allocated for 2015-16. 

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