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Empowering India’s Future: Unleashing the Potential of Youth through Skill Development

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By Nirmit Parikh, CEO & Founder of apna.co

India is experiencing an economic ascent: the country is on its way to become the third largest economy globally, and it is inching closer to achieving its target of a USD 5 trillion economy. Currently in its ‘Amrit Kaal,’ a transformative period envisioned to make India a fully-developed nation by 2047, the nation has almost all what it takes to emerge as an economic powerhouse. While myriad factors are working in favor of its progress, one of the strongest assets that is strengthening the foundation of its bright future is its youth. India has an advantage—over 65% of its population is below the age of 35, and tapping into their potential can help it take a giant leap forward.

But to ensure the potential of youth is realized, it is essential to prepare them for the future by equipping them with the right skills and knowledge, making them job-ready. This is also critical because a report predicts that India might face a 29-million skill deficit by 2030. Another challenge is the widening gap between talents and opportunities. For instance, lakhs of young talents are unemployed while on the other hand, companies are facing a shortage of skilled workforce. Additionally, the job market is constantly transforming and becoming more competitive. Nowadays, organizations are shifting away from their traditional hiring methods that focused solely on degrees or work experience. They are now adopting skill-based hiring processes and looking for potential candidates who not just possess right and relevant skills but also carry the ability to meet evolving workplace demands and adjust to dynamic environments.

The National Youth Day thus brings the right opportunity to highlight why skill development, including vocational training, online courses and certifications, digital and soft skills training, mentorship, guidance, and collaborations, has become an absolute necessity to address unemployment and propel the country’s social and economic development.

Vocational training to make youth job-ready

This is crucial to prepare young talents with skills that make them employable for specific jobs. Vocational training can support learners in enhancing their employability in their field of interest, providing valuable and practical exposure to real-world scenarios, and enhancing their overall competitiveness. With this, they further acquire a deeper understanding of various subjects and develop the necessary capabilities that open the doors to career development and higher income opportunities for them.

Benefits of online courses and certifications

Online learning is a great way for youth to become job-ready by acquiring skills in digital environments. One of the key benefits of online courses is that they democratize education, breaking geographical and cost-related barriers, making skill development available and accessible for all. Individuals can easily acquire in-demand skills to advance in their careers by learning with the help of smartphones, laptops or tablets, anywhere, anytime. Moreover, obtaining a certification on completion of a particular course also gives them a validation of their abilities and knowledge, making it easier for them to secure a job in a competitive landscape.

Importance of digital and soft skills

Today, organizations are actively shifting from traditional to digital operations across various functions, making it essential for the youth to become digitally-skilled. Gaining a firm command on various digital skills can help them to future proof their careers and explore a wide range of existing and emerging career opportunities, arising from digital transformation and technology adoption. Moreover, the importance of acquiring soft skills also can’t be understated. Empowering young minds by focusing on their personal development such as communication, decision-making, leadership, and problem-solving abilities can support their holistic growth.

Role of mentorship, guidance and collaborations
One of the vital aspects of skill development is providing the youth with right guidance, counseling and mentorship throughout their learning process. This can help them work on areas of improvement, identify their strengths, and get access to resources, workshops, training programs, and career opportunities. Additionally, a collaborative approach involving government, industry and educational institutions can result in better exchange of information, identification of existing gaps, policy development, and coming up with initiatives in various aspects of skill development like training, research and development among others to, support the youth in thriving in a rapidly evolving world.

As India accelerates on its path to progress, empowering the youth is the key to unlocking the immense potentials that can help it achieve its dream of becoming a developed nation. Focusing on comprehensive development with right approach to skilling, upskilling and reskilling can make the youth ready to become competitive, resilient and successful, and also empower them to lead the country towards a prosperous future ahead.

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