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Skilling Goan Youth

More youth must be trained to avail of job opportunities in private sector

THOUGH promises and assurances flow thick, truth to speak, the Goa government has not been able to create adequate number of jobs for the youth in the private sector. The state has high unemployment rate, with nearly 1.3 lakh Goan youth on the live Employment Exchange register. Even skilling has been moving slowly and in a marginal manner. The industrial training institutes (ITIs) have taken up only a few of the skills provided in the central government’s list. Though the progress on the training in skills taken up is good, with many trained youth placed in jobs, the state government has to do much more to train the youth in trades for which there is demand in the private sector. It is shameful that the state government has been able to utilise only Rs 10 crore of Rs 72 crore made available to it under the centrally-sponsored Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY). According to the director of skill development and entrepreneurship department, though the scheme has been operational since 2017-18, it was only during the current year that it has been given impetus which led to no training being provided under the scheme and funds remaining unutilised. The lethargic approach of the state government in training youth speaks volume of their approach to dealing with unemployment.

At the time of the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana in 2017-18, the state government had set an ambitious target of training 46,951 youth by March 31, 2020, the time when the scheme was set to come to an end. The target has been recently lowered to 30,000 by the state government. The skill development and entrepreneurship department has been able to train just 172 persons and issue them skill training certificates under PMKVY so far. According to department officials, another 209 applicants are under assessment from among 945 applicants who have enrolled for courses under the scheme. With less than six months to go before the scheme ends, it is unlikely that even the revised target will be met. The department officials are hoping that the scheme would be extended for them to be able to utilise the allotted funds and train more youth. There are 13 ITIs (10 run by government and three by private entities) in the state where training under the scheme is being offered to the youth.

It is regrettable to note that while the state government made a grandiose announcement of training thousands of youth, it did not make arrangements to accommodate and train the students enrolled under the programme in different ITIs. According to the programme drawn up by the central government, 200 courses are to be offered in 34 industrial sectors. However, only a handful of courses like restaurant service, bakery, housekeeping, plumbing, carpentry and electrician, which are in high demand, are offered in the state. ITI officials have said that they were facing space constraint and as such were unable to train the youth.

The state government must end the inadequacies of the ITIs in order to maximise the number of youth that can take the training. As space constraint has been cited as one of the reasons for tardy implementation of the scheme, the authorities need to make arrangements for it by renting out premises to impart training. The certificates awarded under the scheme bear the authentication of National Skill Development Council and are recognised pan-India and abroad. The state government must do it to prove its commitment to helping youth get jobs is genuine. The state government must take steps in this regard so that the money allocated for training of youth under PMKVY to Goa is not returned. A large part of unemployment is owing to the job-skill mismatch in the private sector. The state has to produce a skilled workforce which can find employment not only in Goa but also other parts of Goa and abroad. The roadmap for training should be prepared straightaway and placed before the central authorities to get their approval. Let us hope the state government takes all the measures necessary to not only create job opportunities by attracting investments but also by helping Goan youth avail of them by skilling them.

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