India is home to more than 400 million youth aged 15 to 29. Among this age group, the country has a major skills gap. To address this gap and build a productive workforce, the government has launched the Skill India mission to prepare young people for the demands of the labor market.
At this point in India’s history, there are more significant opportunities to improve the economic stability of poor families — especially in urban areas — than ever before. We are encouraged by the momentum of the market and the government’s focus on improving outcomes through skill development. But India has several more steps to take — and will need more time to take them — before achieving its enormous goals of providing skills training for millions of job seekers.
We have taken a demand centric view to understand what is driving demand for labor and how best to skill and match youth to this demand. We’re working with multiple partners — some to prepare and place youth (and measure their graduates’ success) in the formal and informal sector, and others to help provide meaningful entrepreneurship opportunities. Our main goal is to enable underprivileged youth to take part in India’s economic boom and to enable them to earn meaningful income. We are also confident that leveraging the power of the digital economy to empower India’s informal sector workers will be significant for India’s urban poor.
Finally, we also seek to create demand for skilled young people through programs that provide a choice of quality training organizations and financing options like skill vouchers, and vocational training loans. Ultimately, we’re interested in growing the percentage of trained youth who get jobs.