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Centre to train 500 million youth in vocational skills

Hyderabad, Nov 22 : The Centre has begun the process of building capacity for training 500 million youths in various vocational skills, Union Human Resource Development Minister M M Pallam Raju said on Friday.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has set a target of 500 million youngsters to be skilled by 2022 and we are in the process of building up the capacity for training boys and girls in vocational skill,” Raju said after inaugurating the National Integration Meet-2013 of Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti here. The minister said that there are about 12 million young people coming out to join work force every year.

“It is very important that we should create the avenues to skill them so that they can learn skillset of international standard which will help them in their career, not only in the country, but probably get them opportunity abroad also,” Raju said. The government will device every avenue to make sure that the children are educated and skilled, the minister said while stressing the need to focus on vocational skills.

Noting that the combination of poverty and illiteracy was lethal that could destroy any society, he said that is the reason why three years ago the Centre decided to make the Right to Education a fundamental right. “We have brought an Act in Parliament because of which today 23 crore children are studying from Class I to Class XII all across the country,” he pointed out.

The country has one of the largest mid-day meal scheme programmes in the world and 11 to 12 crore children are having mid-day meal every day. “Why we are doing all this because we feel that education is a necessity if society has to grow,” the minister said.

Education is a necessity to strengthen the foundation of the country, he said, adding that they will not stop there and create a capacity in secondary and higher education. About 60 per cent of the country’s population is under the age of 35 years and there is a need to strengthen this resource, not only for their individual growth but for the benefit of the nation, he added. INN