Maharashtra is a highly industrialised state with plenty of opportunities for skilled job seekers and entrepreneurs. With 65% of the population below 35% of age, India has a young and aspiring workforce that will contribute to the nation’s rapid progress. However, Maharashtra faces a challenge to create meaningful and aspirational opportunities for employment for nearly 1 million youth that enter the state’s workforce each year.
The Make in India initiative of Government of India is a step in that direction – to boost investment, promote manufacturing & services, and create jobs for local youth. This is complimented by the Skill India campaign that seeks to empower the young population by providing employable skills for jobs in the modern economy.
In Maharashtra, the Department of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship was formed in 2015 to streamline the vocational training and livelihood promotion activities of the government. The Pramod Mahajan Kaushalya and Uddyojakta Vikas Abhiyaan (PMKUVA) is the flagship program of the department that provides free skill training to youth through Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and empanelled private Vocational Training Providers (VTPs).
The program has gained traction with more than 1,50,000 students undergoing training at the moment, more than half of them being women. The department has also launched an online platform MahaSwayam (https://www.mahaswayam.in) – a single point of information for skill training, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for aspiring candidates in the state.
The various skill development initiatives offer unique opportunities for collaboration with the government. The private sector can play a crucial role in making the Skill India campaign a success by providing industry linkages to trainees, apprenticeships, designing industry-oriented curricula and modernising training infrastructure & facilities.
Maharashtra is the leading state in India in terms of students trained in vocational courses. More than 1,50,000 students are undergoing training at the moment through Pramod Mahajan Kaushalya and Uddyojakta Vikas Abhiyaan (PMKUVA), the flagship program of the state government for skill development. Special emphasis is on empowerment of women and the weaker sections of the society through livelihood and employment opportunities. More than 58% of the beneficiaries are women.