Ministry partners with UNICEF to empower youth with skills
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India, and UNICEF-YuWaah, have partnered to address skilling and employment challenges among youth in India, within the umbrella of the approved Government of India-UNICEF Country Programme Document 2023-2027.
The partnership will leverage the strengths of both organizations – MSDE and UNICEF-YuWaah to achieve common goals and provide 21st century skilling, apprenticeship, and entrepreneurial opportunities, career guidance, and support for young job seekers.
YuWaah, globally known as Generation Unlimited is a multi-stakeholder platform by UNICEF, that aims to prepare young people to transition from education and learning to productive work and active citizenship. YuWaah has been working with young people and partners in India since its launch in 2019, with a focus on providing a continuum of support as they transition to adulthood and see economic and social impact opportunities.
The partnership was officially launched by Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, MSDE, and Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF Representative in India.
Speaking at the launch of the collaboration, Shri Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, MSDE said, “India is a young nation with over 62 per cent of the population in the working-age group and about 54 per cent below 25 years of age. in the age of disruptive technology, it is essential that we provide the right education and 21st-century vocational training, including life skills, financial skills, digital skills, and entrepreneurial skills, to our youngsters so that capable of solving complex challenges. This partnership with UNICEF will build pathways for young people to gain relevant skills for productive lives and aspirational economic opportunities, in tune with the future of work. Going forward, MSDE and UNICEF are committed to strengthen the apprenticeship ecosystem in the country through innovative solutions based on technology platforms to maximize the scale and reach.”
A paper ‘Making Apprenticeship Aspirational: Learnings and Way Forward’ was also released during the event. Developed jointly by a working group of government officials, the private sector, CSOs, industry bodies and young people, the paper highlights the crucial issues faced by establishments and students pursuing apprenticeships. The paper outlines policy recommendations from both the demand and supply side, aiming to scale-up the apprenticeship ecosystem in India. The paper highlights the insights drawn from a pilot conducted in Telangana with both employers and young people to understand their perspective on apprenticeship. It states that apprenticeship is appreciated by both employers and young people as an important link to bridge the gap between education and employment but strengthening the support system through deep handholding support during registration and onboarding, stronger channels for grievance redressal, enhanced training quality and enabling more MSMEs to hire apprentices will help to further take apprenticeship to the masses.
Cynthia McCaffrey, UNICEF Representative in India, said, “UNICEF is thrilled to support the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship to build on the thriving ecosystem India has created for the empowerment of young people as accelerators of India’s growth. Through YuWaah we encourage young people to recognize their unlimited potential. We encourage them to let their aspirations fly, think big and be bold. Within the new Government of India-UNICEF Country Programme 2023-2027, this partnership seeks to co-create solutions that empower India’s young people with the skills, tools and knowledge they need to succeed in the workforce and as entrepreneurs. It also creates opportunities for them to work together with policy stakeholders to make India more sustainable and innovative.”
Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of YuWaah, Youth Development and Partnerships, UNICEF, said, “This partnership with MSDE is an important step towards enabling young people to reach their full potential and contribute to the development of the nation towards a more equitable workforce. The focus is on equipping youth with 21st century skills, including life skills, financial skills, digital skills, and entrepreneurial skills through online and offline, for productive lives and the future of work. Our combined expertise will help us to co-create and implement solutions with young people in India at scale that will have a lasting impact on their lives.”
Anoushka Sinha, Member of Young People’s Action Team said, “As a health and wellness entrepreneur, I believe that with the advancements in technology and the availability of diverse channels of communication, the youth possess a remarkable ability to utilize skills to solve complex problems. My venture centres around the intersections of tech and social entrepreneurship and how we can bridge the gap for vulnerable populations, so it is inspiring to see MSDE and UNICEF-YuWaah working together to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of young people like me.”