Present status of employment in minorities:
About 12.8 million persons enter the labour market every year and India has large young population but only 10% of the Indian labour forces – 8% informally and 2% formally have acquired vocational skills. About 63% of the school students drop out at different stages reaching Class-X. In case of minorities, particularly Muslims the dropout rate is very alarming as it reaches to about 93%. Only about 3.1 million vocational training seats are available in the country whereas, even out of these training places, very few are available for early school dropouts. This signifies that a large number of school drop outs do not have access to skill development for improving their employability on one side and availability of 12.8 million jobs on the other. As per estimates of 2011, in India there is a skill gap of about 244 million across 21 key sectors.
Further India is in transition to a knowledge based economy and its competitive edge will be determined by the abilities of its people to create, share and use knowledge more effectively. This transition will require India to develop workers into knowledge workers who will be more flexible, analytical, adaptable and multi skilled.
Thus harnessing the demographic dividend through appropriate skill development efforts is important to achieve inclusion and productivity within the country and also a reduction in the global skill shortages.
Thus to meet this end the government has launched a new skill development schemes for the youth of minority communities named as 'Learn and Earn' scheme. It targets the youth from 14 – 35 years of age and aims to improve employability of existing workers, school dropouts etc. belonging to minority communities and ensure their placement.
The objectives of the scheme are:
a) To bring down unemployment rate of minorities during 12th Plan period.
b) To conserve and update traditional skills of minorities and establish their linkages with market.
c) To improve employability of existing workers, school dropouts etc. and ensure their placement.
d) To generate means of better livelihood for marginalized minorities and bring them in the mainstream.
e) To enable minorities to avail opportunities in the growing market.
f) To develop potential human resource for the country.
Components of the programme:
(a) Placement linked skills training program for Modern Trades
Each participant will undergo a training based on his/her aptitude and capability to be selected from the options of Sector specific Vocational Skills Program available under this Programme. The training programme will include soft skills training, basic IT training and basic English training. The training programmes are to be of minimum 3 months duration. The focus of this programme is that the training should result in gainful and sustainable employment for the youth.
(b) Skill Training Programmme for traditional trades
The focus of this programme is that the activities should result in creation of an SHG of skilled youth with access to funds for establishment and operation thereby ensuring income enhancement for the youth. The programmes are to be of minimum 2 months duration and a maximum of 1 year depending upon the selected trade.
Ministry of Minority Affairs will take up skill development programme for Modular Employable Skills (MES) which are approved by National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT). The MES courses approved by NCVT include majority of traditional skills being practiced by the minority communities e.g. Embroidery, Chikankari, Zardosi, Patch work, Gem and Jewelry, Weaving, Wooden works, Leather goods, Brass metal works, Glass wares, Carpet etc. Moreover, other courses approved by NCVT may also be taken up in a particular State or region depending on the demand and local market potential. This would help, on one hand to conserve the traditional arts and crafts practiced by minorities and on the other hand empower the minority communities to face the market challenges and avail opportunities.
The scheme will be implemented through empanelled expert organization in the field of Skill training and industrial associations who could ensure employability. Priority will be given to organizations who would guarantee 75% overall placement percentage and out of that at least 50% placement should be in organized sector. Further the preference will be given to organizations which aim at developing traditional skills of minorities with ensured market linkages and propose the programme for identified minority concentration districts / blocks /towns/ cluster of villages and the North-Eastern region.
Project Implementing Agencies will have to consider activation of mechanisms in conjunction with Industry for “Job fairs” and “Job counseling” in order to spread awareness, create choice and ensure that the poor and vulnerable are adequately catered to in the skilling process.