By Ankush Vats

New Delhi–Most graduates coming out of colleges in India have only theoretical knowledge and ways have to be found to make them skilled in their areas of choice, the head of an institution tasked with doing just that has said.

“We have graduates who have theoretical knowledge but no practical experience. A person can explain his or her learning on paper, but may have never done it in actual work situations,” Jayant Krishna, CEO of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), told IANS in an interview, pointing to the deficiency of employable skills among graduates in India.

Jayant Krishna
Jayant Krishna

“We need to find ways and create avenues to make them skilled in the area of their choice and help them become an employable workforce as per local and global industry requirements”, Krishna said.

He said that hundreds of thousands of jobs were created in India every year but most of them were in the unorganised sector.

“India has a labour market of 48 crore (480 million) people. Almost 1.2 crore (12 million) people are added every year. It includes all kinds of jobs – organised or unorganised. Job creation is happening, but the challenge is that a very large number of these jobs are created in the unorganised or informal sector. This is a challenge for our country because most of the people want to work in the formal sector”, Krishna contended.

He said youth must understand the difference that skill development brings to their lives, something which a degree or certificate alone cannot do.

Formed in 2010, NSDC acts as a catalyst in skill development by providing funding to enterprises, companies and organisations that provide such training.

NSDC partners have skilled over eight million people and placed around four million people in jobs. It has a target of skilling or up-skilling 150 million people by 2022 by fostering private sector initiatives.

Krishna said that there is an agreement with training partners that after successful completion of a course, at least 70 percent of the students have to be employed, but he confessed that the actual number is a “little less”.

“If you ask me whether 70 percent of students are actually being placed, I would say it’s a little less than that. But the fact is that as many jobs are also to be created in the country”, he added.

He said there was an urgent need to fill the gap between academia and industry to build a cohesive skill eco-system for youth.

“As part of initiating skill education at school level, we started a programme on vocationalisation of secondary education on a pilot basis in some schools in Haryana.

He said there is one optional vocational subject, such as information technology, hospitality or retail.

“We got very good response and implemented it in other schools across the country as well”, he said.