The country’s first World Skill Centre (WSC) is coming up at a newly constructed 18-storey building in Bhubaneswar.

A state-of-the-art glass and steel facility spanning 5 lakh sq ft including a helipad, WSC will offer youngsters advanced skills in leading sectors including manufacturing and services sector to begin with.

An immersive, experiential learning environment combined with exposure to global industry will be the major differentiators of the skill programmes offered here. WSC will house a Skill Museum and an advanced facility for training the trainers. ITE Singapore has been identified as the knowledge partner for WSC.

The formal inauguration of WSC will happen in early 2019 when the first course will be rolled out.

“In terms of the vision and its implementation, WSC is unlike anything India has seen so far” Subroto Bagchi, Chairman, Odisha State Skill Development Authority (OSDA) told BusinessLine .

“While our target is to skill 1.1 million youth by 2019, of which we have already skilled 8.5 lakh youth, in a hyper-competitive world it is not enough to be just chasing numbers to be skilled. To truly stand out, we need to build an aspirational brand called ‘Skilled-in-Odisha’ that will be globally known for producing the best carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, sewing machine operators, nursing assistants and so on” he said.

Odisha Model

To achieve that, OSDA has set for itself three measurable goals. “First, we want high-quality employers of national repute to lock-in skill talent in Odisha. Just like the IT industry locks-in engineering talent with job offers much before students graduate, I want ITI youth in Odisha to be locked-in by corporate India much before they graduate.

At the next level, within 5 years, that same lock-in idea must extend to a global level. Odisha must become a global destination for skilled talent. This is our second goal statement. Finally, our important goal: We want Odisha to be an innovation sandbox. Great ideas conceived anywhere must first be tried out here. As a result, Odisha must be able to give to the world, two or three ideas that would be called the ‘Odisha Model’ elaborated Bagchi.

Asked if that was possible to achieve, he replied “If a small country like Bangladesh could give the concept of ‘micro-finance’, we should be able to contribute ideas that are of larger, global consequence.”

The courses being offered in advanced skilling in the first phase at WSC will take on students who have graduated from ITIs, Polytechnics and even engineering colleges. When running to its full capacity, WSC will train 4000 students annually.

Each of the 18 storeys of WSC will be dedicated to different skills and will be Centres of Excellence for the respective trades with direct affiliation/accreditation with global leaders in the field. OSDA has identified courses in the areas of mechatronics, facilities technology, precision engineering, beauty & wellness, hair fashion & design, logistics operations, healthcare among others.