New Delhi, 2022: With an objective to address the acute skill deficit in the country, NASSCOM Foundation is working relentlessly to empower over 700 individuals from marginalized communities with digital literacy, delivering life skills and socioemotional skills; job-specific skills, which support the transition into the workforce; and entrepreneurial skills to enable the youth to become self-reliant and future –ready.
According to India Skills Report 2022 by Wheebox, the overall youth employability in India stood at 48.7%. However, various skilling initiatives spearheaded by the government are covering ground, but not enough to meet the targeted supply of 109 million workers by 2022. To bridge the skill gap in India, NASSCOM Foundations’ Resurgent Communities Program supported by Micro Focus has successfully trained 730 community members with digital literacy skills, nurtured 35 micro-entrepreneurs in the community by providing with basic entrepreneurial skills. These include, creating awareness about relevant government schemes and portals, introduction to using digital devices such as smartphones and laptops, educating the communities with uses of digital payments and building awareness on cybercrime, internet fraud and social bullying.
Apart from the skills training, individuals have also been guided on increasing self-awareness through aptitude and soft skills training to help them understand about the different career paths and the skills that they will need in order to achieve those roles down the line. As part of the project, 300 potential candidates have been given the assisted with communication skills, resume building, formal terminologies and their usages, technical and non-technical job training required for job-placements and have also been connected with relevant industry professions/partners for internship and permanent job opportunities. Additionally, Micro Focus has distributed tablets to several school students at the training centre to help blend online and mainstream education. This encourages students to use digital platforms to support their studies. Executed by Smile Foundation, these trainings are imparted once a week for an hour at a training centre based in Bangalore.
Talking about the impact of the initiative, Nidhi Bhasin, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation said that, “A 2020-21 Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) data states that 86 percent of those between 15 and 59 years had not received any vocational training and the remaining 14 percent had received training through diverse formal and informal channels. To convert this pool into human capital will require dedicated focus on skilling and education. There is more than enough evidence to prove that upskilling the youth could lead to increased incomes, higher profitability and greater productivity in the economy. India is growing in terms of the young population and we are confident that our collaboration with Micro Focus can transform the youth into an asset through skilling and therefore contribute to nation-building.”
Sarah Atkinson, Director of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) at Micro Focus, said: “It is imperative that industry stakeholders including the government and private and public sector together bring cognitive skill, growth mindset, cultural intelligence, and digital literacy to create innovators and entrepreneurs in the country and enable the youth to be job ready and contributing significantly to the country’s economic empowerment. Micro Focus is proud to support such an impactful program which builds the capacity of youth for various kinds of job opportunities and provides budding entrepreneurs with necessary skills to expand their business journey, at speed and scale.”
The year-long project, which began during the pandemic in November 2020, started with the community intervention of distributing sanitization kits to these communities to combat COVID-19. While mobilizing focused groups in these areas, the need gap for digital literacy and domain skills was identified leading to the conceptualization of this program.