IICPSD advances South-South cooperation with UNDP India and FICCI

Sep 15, 2017

On September 15th, 2017, 10th Global Skills Summit: “New Age Skills for Today and Tomorrow” was held in New Delhi, India. One of the largest annual skills development conferences in India, the Summit was organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in partnership with the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Skill India. As part of its engagement with South-South cooperation for skills development, UNDP IICPSD participated once more to the Summit this year.

Taking the Global Summit as an opportunity, IICPSD released its report entitled “How the Private Sector Develops Skills: Lessons from India”, prepared in cooperation with UNDP India. The publication was launched together with FICCI and Skill India. With its fast-growing youth population, India has the potential of hosting the largest workforce in the world. However, the working-age population that has received formal skill training has been minimal. For this, the Government of India has built a comprehensive ecosystem for skills development, to train 400 million individuals by 2022. 

IICSPD’s report analyses twelve case studies in India, which show that the private sector can accelerate achievement of national, regional and local skills development and therefore deliver inclusive growth, human development, competitiveness and productivity for the poor and the underserved. These goals can be achieved by integrating labour market needs and demand-driven trainings; identifying required skills and competencies; developing occupational standards and qualifications; ensuring trainees are effectively acquiring industry-relevant skills; recognising certificates and increasing their relevance; and most importantly, unleashing the economic potential of youth, women and other disadvantaged groups.

Furthermore, IICPSD Technical Specialist Gökhan Dikmener shared his remarks on the skills business ecosystem in India at the Skills and Productivity session at the Global Summit. The session highlighted that one of the key challenges to skills development is the low level of attractiveness of skills. Vocational education in India is associated with low-prestige jobs and is generally not considered as an alternative to formal education. Therefore, to make skills aspirational, it is necessary to link skills delivery, productivity and remuneration. The certificates obtained after trainings should be credible, recognized by the government and lead to jobs that pay for the skills premium. 

Finally, towards strengthening South-South cooperation, IICPSD, UNDP India and FICCI signed a Letter of Understanding at the event. The letter intends to foster collaboration among the three organizations towards increasing female workforce participation in India and creating a robust mechanism to promote public-private sector partnership in skill development for inclusive and sustainable growth.

The initiatives resulting from this partnership, through South-South Cooperation, will enhance the workforce participation of women across sectors; encourage industry partners to promote apprenticeship and corporate volunteering schemes; and gender mainstreaming in skills delivery. The Minister of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship later commended the efforts of IICPSD, UNDP India and FICCI to address key challenges in the skills ecosystem.