Skill Development through CSCs


Introduction

Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and social development for any country. At present the capacity of skill development in India is around 3.1 million persons per year. The 11th Five Year Plan envisions increasing this capacity to 15 million annually. Further, India has a target of creating 500 million skilled workers by 2022. In order to achieve this target, it is critical that a holistic approach is

taken that ensures building employable skills, encourages lifelong learning and efficiently links employers with employable skilled workers. Further, to ensure success, skill development programs must reach out to and impact the rural population.



 Since, the Common Services Centers (CSCs), being established  across the Country under the National e-Governance Plan, are located in rural areas and are equipped with the CT infrastructure required Ito deliver online services, it is felt that Central Ministries and State Governments can employ them for:

 

·Â Â Â Â  Skills Mapping: CSCs can undertake activities to assess skill deficiency, map availability of skilled workers and local employment opportunities. They can conduct local surveys and gather business intelligence regarding the availability of local employers, job opportunities they provide and potential employees eligible to apply for the positions.

 

·Â Â Â Â  Pre-employment Training: CSCs can be used to impart vocational training and distant learning courses that allow citizens to acquire employable skills. Further, CSCs can impart coaching classes to students to supplement formal education. Already a number of CSCs are offering courses from IGNOU, DOEACC Society, Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Ltd, Intel and Microsoft. Popular courses include e-literacy training, spoken English and soft skill development like interviewing, personality development etc.

 

 

·Â Â Â Â  Job Placement: CSCS can offer a number of job placement services in rural areas, including matching citizen profile with available job openings, skills assessment, job counseling, and job application submission and provide virtual interviewing facilities. Already a number of CSCs are offering job placement services through Chaakri.in. Further, States like Maharashtra, have decentralized their employment exchange services offered by Directorate General of Employment & Training (DGETs), and are offering them through CSCs.

 

·Â Â Â Â  Monitoring Job Placement: CSCs that offer training and job placement services, are in the best position to track local job placements. Further, since they have a relationship with citizens placed through them, they can offer lifelong learning courses that a citizen needs to upgrade his skills for career progress.

 

Currently a number of skill development programs are being delivered through CSCs across the country:

 

·Â Â Â Â  DOEACC Society’s “Course on Computer Concepts” (CCC): In June 2010, DIT approved DOEACC Society to train and certify one lakh CSC Operators/ VLEs in DOEACC’s “Course on Computer Concepts” (CCC). Once certified, the VLE is expected to provide the CCC course training to citizens in villages. The CCC course is designed as a basic-level IT literacy program for learners with little or no experience with computers and has gained distinct recognition among Central and State Government Departments  as a criterion to secure employment. It is offered in e-learning mode through CSCs and is currently available in 10 Indian languages. Additionally, DIT is also funding a Women Digital Literacy Scheme that will train 25,000 rural women across 10 States, with limited or no prior computer skills, in the CCC Course.

 

·Â Â Â Â  Akshaya’s e-literacy Campaign in Kerela: The Akshaya Center’s digital literacy project was first piloted in Malappuram district of Kerala in 2003, with the aim of training at least one person from each household in basic computer literacy concepts. It was expected that each participant would enroll into a 15 hour digital literacy course spread over 10 sessions. To ensure successful implementation, the entrepreneurs operating the Akshaya centers were assigned a list of households from which a member was to be trained. Each Akshaya center was meant to cater to approximately 1000 households within the radius of its location. The Government subsidized most of the expenditure during the e-literacy training phase, with each household member paying only a small training fee. The State and Panchayats paid up to Rs 120/- and each household paid Rs 20/- to train one member of the household. By the end of the first phase, the project had succeeded in covering 90% of the households, based on which the initiative was scaled up across the State of Kerela.


·Â Â Â Â 
Chaakri.co.in: Service Center Agency (SCA), SREI Sahaj, launched Chaakri, an online job portal for the rural workforce. This service is offered through the CSCs. Skilled workers looking for jobs are required to register themselves and their CVs at the CSC. The Recruitment Team then matches the requirement of the registered CVs with potential employers. Srei Sahaj also offers skill building and upgradation of the rural youth to make them suitable for the relevant job. Thus, the business model is based on the market driven demand, nitrating an exclusive system for a 360° solution after carrying out a skill gap analysis and providing suitable candidates to all the employers. Chaakri.co.in has vacancies for sales executive, office assistant, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, courier boys, drivers, security guards, masons, fitter, welder, barbers etc. For rural women, it offers jobs such as front office executive, data entry operators, beauticians, healthcare assistants etc. Chaakri would cater manpower requirement for various sectors like FMCG, FMCD, Telecom, Retail, Manufacturing, Construction, Facility Management, BFSI, etc.

 

·Â Â Â Â  IGNOU Courses: Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has partnered with two Service Center Agencies (SCA)- Srei Sahaj and AISECT- to successfully offer a number of its courses through the CSC Network. These partnerships enable the delivery of international quality skill development vocational programmes at affordable costs to the rural population of India. An estimated 100 million below poverty line rural youth across the country stands to benefit through these partnerships. IGNOU’s diploma and certification courses are offered in the e-learning mode and include courses in IT & Management, Hardware & Networking as well as Livelihood & Vocational Education courses. The SCAs are responsible for administration of the programmes, including enrolments, registration, fee collection and evaluation, while IGNOU does the certification directly.

 

In order to successfully delivery skill development services through the CSCs, the following minimum requirements are recommended:

·Â  ICT infrastructure at the CSCs, including multiple computers with broadband internet connectivity. Availability of video conferencing capability is preferred.

·Â  Industry recognized courses that can be offered in the e-learning mode. Short-term modular courses are preferred.

·Â  A transparent online registration and enrollment process, along with a secure, independent examination and evaluation process undertaken by the Institute offering the course.

·Â  Linkages with job placement services that increase chances of employment after receiving certification/diploma. 



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