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 set a goal of providing vocational training to 500 million young people by 2022.
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’re optimistic that a few large strides in the near future will help put India on track to hit the 2022 “Skill India” target.
To support the “Skill India” initiative, 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 create a large supply of skill training companies who can train and successfully place youth in jobs. 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.