New Delhi– Lamenting the lack of training infrastructure, Union Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Pratap Rudy on Saturday said without a skilled workforce, Make in India will not happen.

“We have 14 lakh painters but we don’t have a single formal training centre for them. Similar is the case with plumbers, carpenters, masons etc. The ecosystem that has developed over the last 68 years needs structural change which we are struggling to do,” Rudy said at a Ficci event here.

“It is important for Make in India to happen but it will not happen unless we have the makers,” said Rudy harping on the need for creating infrastructure for skilling the workforce.

“The problem lies in the ecosystem that has developed over the last seven decades,” he said, adding that certification was essential for establishing appropriate labour market linkages and ascertaining that the workforce is industry ready.

He also stressed on the importance of English as a language in the era of globalisation.

“A student who doesn’t have a formal education for 10 years and speaks good English has a 40 per cent more employability than graduates and post graduates in this country,” he said.

Enumerating the various initiatives of the Narendra Modi government to skill the workforce, Rudy emphasised the need for apprenticeship for the trainees.

“Training has to move out from the classrooms. Until there is apprenticeship, unless it is at the industry floor, training will not be complete. That is why we have come up with a scheme to promote apprenticeship,” said Rudy, referring to the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS).

Launched in August, NAPS aims to increase the engagement of apprentices from the present 2.3 lakh to 50 lakh cumulatively by 2020.

“Let us pick those things which are in demand not just nationally but internationally. Make yourself a good driver, plumber or an electrician and it can open many avenues including to foreign shores. That is what people in Kerala have done through nursing. This has changed the whole economy of Kerala,” he said. (IANS)