MSDE to drive skilling in healthcare, logistics, e-commerce: Mahendra Nath Pandey

Garima Singh New Delhi | Updated on May 29, 2020

Mahendra Nath Pandey

Skill councils on domestic, construction workers will revise guidelines to ensure a safe working environment

With significant number of skilled and semi-skilled labourers going back home, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) is in talks with local administration for deploying unskilled labourers locally. For the skilled workforce, the Ministry proposes to re-skill them and connect them to relevant industries over the next few months.

In an interview with BusinessLine Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister for MSDE said that sectors such as pharmaceuticals, FMCG, healthcare, logistics and e-commerce will see a significant growth in skilling. Excerpts:

Will focus be on imparting skills in rural India now, as most of the workers, especially migrant workers, are looking for jobs locally?

Many workers, especially the skilled and experienced labour, are looking for work closer to their homes. We are aware of this and are keeping a close eye on the changing dynamics in this time of reverse migration. We have started working with some partner organisations on mapping out the best way to deploy our training resources and re-connect them to employment opportunities near their native places.

We are also talking to local administration to take their help with deploying unskilled labour locally while the skilled workforce will be re-skilled and connected to relevant industries over the next few months. This will help migrant workers earn a livelihood and may immediately provide industries the much-needed workforce to kick-start operations. Once this is done, then we will provide recognition of prior learning (RPL) certificates.

What new skill sets will be in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic?

Sectors such as pharmaceuticals, FMCG, healthcare, logistics and e-commerce will see a significant growth in skilling.

In addition to this, our focus would be on new-age skills like Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning and the Internet of things (IoT). These will become increasingly important in the post-Coronavirus world and be highly in demand.

Technology has also helped in removing barriers including geographical and socio-economic barriers while making job roles increasingly specialised.

How the schemes that the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has introduced in the past are helping people in this time of crisis?

Under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), we have extended our support to the healthcare sector with 1.75 lakh trained professionals who assisted in containing the further spread of the infection.

In addition to this, in the life science sector, we have been able to support with skilled youth who are helping with the mass manufacture of life saving drugs needed to fight Covid-19.

We also have a database of close to 1,000 skilled plumbers who volunteered to support plumbing requirements near their area during this pandemic, following all norms of social distancing and other necessary precautions.

How will training be provided in the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in future? Will there be any changes in the way they function?

Although much of the training operations are on hold currently in order to comply with the ongoing lockdown, we have been functioning remotely as much as possible to ensure all operations resume successfully once the lockdown ends. Due to the practical nature of vocational courses, the conventional brick and mortar model of training may need to evolve. Training providers may need to embed online components into existing training programmes.

The Ministry has made available extensive online digital learning resources through the Directorate General of Training (DGT).

Additionally, we are also evaluating if the 2,700 government run ITIs and 300 Government run polytechnics can start medium duration training programmes outside college timings on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode in skills where there is demand and supply gap.

This will eventually lead to high quality skill training over the next few years. Programme for training of trainers shall be taken up at a massive scale, so that they can respond to the changes and are available in adequate numbers for new needs.

What is the way forward for the Ministry of Skill development and Entrepreneurship?

Even sectors not directly involved with the Covid-19 but support the essential services like the agriculture sector is now benefitting from the new age skills we have been imparting. Sectors like home services and e-commerce have been vital.

We expect that in the post-Covid era, people will prefer to call professionals to their home rather than go to public places to get certain services.

These home services will grow exponentially and provide more opportunities for the youth.

Our skill councils in sectors such as beauty and wellness, domestic workers, electronics, and food industry capacity and skill initiative, and construction are working on revised guidelines post pandemic to ensure a safe working environment and quality delivery of services.

Published on May 29, 2020

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