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    Skill India Summit: Europe offers know-how for skilling of Indian youths

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    Several European stakeholders made their bids and shared views on how to make rural Indian youth more employable and increase their competence, on the second day of EU-India Skill Development Summit

    Speaking on the behalf of Rudoph Strahm, author of “Why They are So Poor: A Work Book for Development and Underdevelopment in the South”, Nandini Nagar, a learning specialist in Switzerland, gave her insight into the reasons behind the economic and educational success there.

    “It’s certainly not because of the banks,” she said at the event.

    “They (banks) constitute only 5.8 per cent of the total GDP of the country. It’s the vocational educational system of Switzerland, which allows youth to be well-trained before he hits the job market, which makes the country special,” said Nagar, adding 80 per cent of Swiss youth goes to vocational training institutes under its VET (Vocational Education and Training) system, and only 20 per cent opt for universities after schooling.

    She also emphasized that lack of professional training is “the biggest poverty risk”.

    “In India going to vocational colleges is considered a stigmaa electrician and plumbing are not the only vocational courses… we have vocational courses like mechanical engineering as well, among many others,” she added.

    Another official from a major bank in Europe clarified that giving vocational training to young people by the industries should not be considered charity, but the most practical thing to do.

    “Everything involves a cost, so does the training of young people. But it has emerged that benefits outweigh the costs and make economic sense when we train people in the initial phase,” said Clemens Weiland, Senior Project Manager, Bertelsmann Stiftung, Germany.

    Ajoy Kumar Singh, a Secretary to the Jharkhand Government, gave a run-down of the state’s progress in recent years and made a bid to the training institutes to come and train people there.

    “From being ranked at 29th spot, we are ranked seventh now in terms of ease of doing business according to a survey done by World Bank.

    “In the coming few years we will be training 25 lakh individuals. We have decided to build 25 Mega-Skill Centres and bids are open for this. You won’t have to make the capital investment, it will be done by the state,” he added, wooing the entrepreneurs in training field.

    Organised in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), the summit is a brainchild of the EIFE (Europe-India Foundation for Excellence), a Belgium-based foundation which has adopted Skill India as its own mission.

    The Summit was kick-started Monday with EIFE Chairperson Count Christopher de Breza had said: announcing that they “have identified the partners in the European Union who can contributea and we have brought them to New Delhi, face to face with their Indian counterparts who are looking for help in exactly these areas”.

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