Skill & Knowledge Real Drivers of Socio-Economic Growth: Kerala Governor

Thiruvananthapuram: Focus on vocational education and training in Kerala has gone a long way in up-skilling and integrating young people into the global market. In this context, the Department of Labour and Skills, Government of Kerala, has made a clear commitment to raising the status of vocational education and training with the objective of developing industry-responsive and globally-employable manpower, according to Justice P Sathasivam, Governor of Kerala.

Speaking after inaugurating the Nypunyam – International Skill Summit and Skill Fiesta – 2016 in Thiruvananthapuram today, the Governor said the event is one such initiative of the Government to look at skill enhancement through a brand new prism and skill development activities through a paradigm shift.

Pointing out that skill and knowledge are the real drivers of socio-economic growth in any progressive society, Justice P Sathasivam stated that Kerala’s skill levels have never been better. Every year, approximately sixty thousand students are undergoing state-of-the-art training in vocational skills. The global employability basics, such as technical talent, literacy and team building skills are at par with international standards, he pointed out.

Complementing the entire team behind Nypunyam – International Skill Summit and Skill Fiesta – 2016, especially for their efforts in taking on the challenges of conducting an International Summit of such a scale, he expressed happiness over the fact that Nypunyam is providing the platform for the State to discuss and deliberate on the strategies and formulae that can take skill development in Kerala to a new level. This initiative can be viewed as a device to improve the efficacy and contribution of labour to overall production, he added.

Lauding the Skill Fiesta, stating that it is a first of its kind in India, the Governor said the event marks the culmination of a challenging selection and training process at three levels. The competition brings together young people from across the state in order to compete in their chosen trade or specialization. The key objective of the competition is to inspire young people, teachers, parents and others; and to raise awareness that enhancing vocational skills can lead to global opportunities. The competition shall also impart a much-needed boost to the perception of vocational skills in young minds, he stressed.

Showering applause on the Industrial Training Department (ITD) which works under the Department of Employment and Training, and Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence for organising the summit, he said the ITD has 77 ITIs functioning all over Kerala, of which 34 Government ITIs have virtual classrooms that give students an exposure to reality. “Many of our Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) are also equipped with 3D interactive teaching aids, bio-metric attendance systems and unique websites. The benefits of noon-meal and nutrition programmes, covering all ITIs, reach around 28,000 students. The institutes have tie-ups with Volkswagen, Maruti Suzuki, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Toyota Kirloskar Motor. An exclusive job portal for ITI certificate holders is another advantage extended by Industrial Training Department to the youth of Kerala,” he said.

He also complimented the Kerala Academy for Skills Excellence (KASE), the skill development mission of the Government of Kerala, for facilitating and coordinating all skill development initiatives of the State with the aim of ensuring employability of Kerala youth and thereby eliminating the global skill gap.

The activities of KASE have positive effects on the social and economic fabric of the State. As of now, KASE has set up Centres of Excellence across four sectors, namely nursing, security, teaching and oil & rig with job guarantee. Pointing out that the Kaushal Kendras in Kollam and Kozhikode are further milestones in the history of skilling initiatives, he  said the Indian Institute of Infrastructure and Construction (IIIC), which will begin functioning from next month, will change the overall perspective of blue collar jobs across the State.

Shibu Baby John, Minister for Labour & Skills, Government of Kerala, in his presidential address, said that Kerala has created a roadmap for all to follow with regard to skill development. Adding that the roadmap is not just for Kerala, he said that it is for the governments across the country to follow.

Stating that people have been passionately talking about skill development, actual skills were not to be found. The visits by the Labour and Skills department team to regions where skilling was seriously seen have now helped us to know which way to go, he said. Pointing out that the youth possess the skills, what is needed is a proper guidance on what they should focus on. If that is done, the sky would be the limit for the young people around us, he added.

The Minster also handed over the memorandum of understanding signed between the Ministry of Labour and Skills and NICMER, to Mangesh G Khorgaonkar, Director NICMER, in the presence of the Governor.

The Skill Fiesta, part of the Nypunyam – International Skill Summit and Skill Fiesta – 2016, entered the second day. The Fiesta is being organised by the Ministry of Labour and Skills, has a handholding partner in National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), which is a unique Public Private Partnership (PPP), with 51 percent equity held by private sector and the balance 49 percent by the Union Government.