Vice President Hamid Ansari today said there is a need for constant revision of the government policies to match the ever-changing needs of India Inc to hire skilled workforce. "Given the dynamic nature of the industry's requirements, our policies would need constant revision to keep them relevant and effective for skilling our people and scale with speed and quality," Ansari said while addressing a conference on Skilling India for Global Competitiveness organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce. He called for aligning the vocation seekers' aspiration with the industry's expectations, saying that employers should be convinced to hire a skilled workforce rather than look for cheaper, unskilled and semi-skilled resources. The Vice President highlighted the shortage of trainers in the country, saying that "even as the number of people seeking skills has increased exponentially, we are looking at increasingly inadequate number of trainers". Such shortages, he said, create bottlenecks for disbursal of skills. Ansari observed that the general perception of people needs to be changed as getting a vocational skill is still seen as a means of last resort or a choice for those who have not been able to progress in the formal academic system, adding that this mental block exasperates the gap between what the industry requires and what is currently available. Asserting that the key to reaping demographic dividend would be in adequately skilling people, the Vice President said that "if we are able to provide quality skills to our people, we can make India into a human resource powerhouse of the world". However, he said, if the country fails in this task, then there is a risk of unprecedented high rates of unemployment. Presently, only 2.3 per cent of the Indian workforce has undergone formal skill training compared to 68 per cent in the United Kingdom and 52 per cent in the United States, Ansari pointed out, outlining three major challenges before the country for providing skill development. "We need to promote excellence in all spheres of life if India is to be a global leader and play a pivotal role in world affairs.
In all our endeavours, quality needs to be central whether it is our primary schools or institutions of higher learning. We need to ensure that our primary education system is robust and imparts quality education," he said. Noting that the "government is conscious of the need to impart skills training to our people", Ansari said the launch of new initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and the very ambitious Skill India initiative are much needed efforts. "These initiatives would need an inclusive approach to succeed with special focus on the 800 million or so citizens," he said.