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Local Givings: Prashant Fadia Foundation And American India Foundation
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Addresses The Urgent Need To Skill Youth


National Seminar on ‘Skilling India’s Youth: Successes, Lessons and the Way Forward’ August 3, 2011, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Addresses the Urgent Need to Skill Youth at National Seminar on Skill Development in Delhi

A national seminar on “Skilling India’s Youth, was organized by the American India Foundation (AIF), in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NDSC), and supported by the Central Bank of India and the Charles and Agnes Kazarian Foundation on August 3, 2011.

Former President, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, who was the keynote speaker stated “nearly 10 million youth are injected into society every year seeking employment…they are not equipped with the skills and expertise which are needed in by industrial market”. While applauding the role of AIF’s skilling of 65,000 youth, he also urged the audience to create greater opportunities and aspirations for youth by encouraging continuous learning and developing sectors like tourism and construction to address the skill gap in the country.

The event brought together various stakeholders together to discuss the successes, challenges and future steps needed to reach India’s target of skilling 500 million people by 2022. Dilip Chenoy, MD and CEO of NSDC, called upon a more entrepreneurial approach to skill development and called for various actors to come together. Manish Sabharwal, CEO of TeamLease, argued that vocational training is stuck between the Ayatollahs of the HRD and Labour Ministries, neither of which are owning the responsibility to skill youth. Shyamala Deshpande, President of HR at Café Coffee Day, stated that maximum job attrition occurs during the first three months of employment and greater support services are needed to retain youth in their jobs. Venkat Srinivasan, CEO, Rage Frameworls talked about improving communication and critical thinking skills ampng the youth. Arbind Singh, CEO of Nidan, who works exclusively with urban slum youth, talked about the need to build trust in community for the enrollment of youth and employment retention. RK Dubey, Executive Director of Central Bank of India, introduced the first-ever skill loan initiative for 360 poor youth in partnership with AIF.

At the event, Dr. Kalam and Paula Bennett, Head of Citi Foundation Asia Pacific, released a financial literacy curriculum developed by AIF. The findings of a global benchmarking study on Skill Development were also shared via video broadcast by Mr. Paul Kazarian of the Charles and Agnes Kazarian Foundation.

Of the event, Dr. Sanjay Sinho, CEO of AIF, said, “Today’s seminar on skill development provided a great platform to share best practices and various skilling models, which hopefully will be the starting-point to greater collaboration and innovation in the future”.

More than 250 skill training providers, donors, employers, youth, and government officials attended the event.




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