In a bid to bridge the gap between education and employment, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday launched the Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Mission (SDM) with a corpus of R4,200 crore, almost four years after the National Skill Development Mission was formed at the Centre. As part of the mission, the state government has set a target of providing skills to as many as 44 lakh youth over the next three-and-a-half years.
Stating that UP has been lagging behind other states in this mission, the CM attributed the reason to the previous government’s total negligence of all development-related works. But now that the Lucknow Metro, medical colleges and an IT city are coming up, there will be new avenues of employment.
“To feed that need, we need to skill the immense demographic dividend that we have been blessed with. By providing them employment opportunities, we will help better their lives and also set the state on the road to economic development,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion of the launch, state chief secretary Jawed Usmani said the “demographic dividend” will be an asset only when it is skilled and integrated with the mainstream.
“Only when they are skilled will they be able to contribute to the country’s development, otherwise it would be a drain on the society,” he said, adding the skill development mission will integrate efforts of all departments that provide skill training and will include all aspects in the chain of skilling, including mobilisation of youth, counselling, training and placement.
”The purpose of the mission is to skill 44 lakh youth in the age group of 15 to 35 years, especially school dropouts, over the next three-and-a-half years through effective partnerships with professional skill providers and the industry and service sector in the state,” the chief minister said.
As part of this effort, the Uttar Pradesh Skill Development Society (UPSDM), under the vocational education and skill development department of the Uttar Pradesh government, on Saturday signed an MoU with textiles and apparel major Raymond to organise skill training programmes in tailoring for marginalised and unemployed youngsters of the state.
On behalf of Raymond, the initiative was undertaken by the Skilled Training Institute by Raymond (STIR), which will undertake employability-linked skill development training programmes in tailoring and will set up five state-of-the-art tailoring training centres in Uttar Pradesh.
These centres will come up in Lucknow, Varanasi, Meerut, Ghaziabad and Agra.