Three of the largest community college systems from Texas signed a Memorandum of Understanding with National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC), a “Ministry of Skills Development & Entrepreneurship” enterprise in India and Cambridge Education Development, a Houston based firm to make millions of people in India ready for workforce globally.
With 356 million 15-24 year-olds, India has the world’s largest youth population despite having a smaller population than China as per the UN report from November 2014. With 54 per cent of India’s population being 25 or below, India can reap the demographic dividend through right skilling. Unfortunately, currently less than 5 per cent of our potential workforce gets formal skill training to be employable. In a report last year, the Finance Ministry said that if that growing workforce does not develop skills soon, the country could instead face “a demographic nightmare”.
The 2015 Budget announcement of a National Skill Mission and the Rs 15,000-crore budget targeted at skilling rural youth will address this huge unmet need. These initiatives aimed at skilling the youth of India will go a long way in kick-starting ‘Skill in India’, which is a critical enabler for ‘Make in India’ as per the Finance Minister of Government of India.
“Millions are graduating every year in India without learning how to get things done, without knowing how to put their theoretical education into practice, without problem-solving skills, and without right attitude. Higher education institutions in India don’t teach what is needed in Industry and hence creating a wide gap between academia and Industry needed skills. India could be capable of realizing major demographic dividends if people have the right skills. Workforce ready people from India can play a very important role not only in meeting local but global workforce needs in coming years given the aging population in many European countries” said Jiten Agarwal, CEO of Cambridge Education Development.
“The partnership with Cambridge Education Development and some of the best & the largest vocational & higher education institutions in USA such as Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, Houston Community College, Alamo Colleges, Lone Star and others will help provide the best quality vocational training to trainers as well as to youth in India” said Dilip Chenoy, CEO, NSDC. NSDC delegation led by Dilip Chenoy signed the agreements and MoUs in Houston in April, 2015. The delegation was a part of PM Modi team to Germany & Canada.
Community colleges in USA enroll more than 6 million students and are growing rapidly and are the largest part of the nation’s higher & vocational education system. Houston Community College, Alamo and Lone Star colleges are among 10 largest college systems in USA.Kelley School of Business, Indiana University has been ranked #1 several years in a row in students ROI, student as well as academic quality among US institutions. It has been on forefront of developing employability skills programs for higher education graduates.
“India is a classic example of what is happening not only in Houston and across the country, but in many nations,” said Dr. Cesar Maldonado, chancellor at HCC. “Well-trained, quality workers in the middle skills areas such as construction, manufacturing, energy, and health care are in short supply. HCC is well-suited to provide the education to fill those gaps.”
“Alamo College is very proud to be a part of the skilling initiative in India. We have the right expertise, programs and international experience to assist in Skill India mission” said Dr. Bruce Leslie, chancellor at Alamo.
“I am proud that Texas vocational & higher education colleges took the lead in forming the first and the largest partnership from USA with India to help with “Skill India” mission” said Jiten Agarwal.