The Covid-19 pandemic presented several challenges that affected every possible sector of the Indian economy. The business uncertainty due to sudden lockdown led to millions of migrant workers left unemployed overnight and forced these workers to retreat back to their villages in a hope for finding livelihood opportunities.As the pandemic led to insecurity in the job market, interruptions in education and a disproportionate impact on vulnerable groups – all of this called for the Government to put immediate focus  on how to prepare the youth to thrive during and post Covid-19.

The onset of Covid-19 undoubtedly puts a spotlight  to intensify the need for developing new-age skills to remain relevant in the industry. According to the World Economic Forum, more than 1 billion jobs, almost one-third of all jobs worldwide, are likely to be transformed by technology in the next decade. This clearly indicates rapid rise in new kind of job roles pertaining to industry 4.0 where the future of work will be more about holistic job skills. The World Economic Forum also projects that by 2022 at least 54% of all employees will need reskilling and upskilling to respond to changing work requirements.

Being one of the youngest countries with a population of around 1.3 Billion and a median age below 30, India expects its workforce to increase by 27% by 2022 as per the India Skills Report 2019 by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Wheebox and PeopleStrong.This gives a strong demographic advantage to India, which will further help in bridging the skill gap by focusing on learning different skill sets and prepare for industry 4.0. To attain the required new age skills, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana 3.0 (PMKVY 3.0), the flagship scheme of the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (MSDE) implemented by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) will support in creatinga skilled and certified workforce. This scheme will not onlycontribute towards the growth of India but will also drive the country into becoming the global skills capital. PMKVY enables the Indian youth to learn industry-relevant skill training that will help them in securing a better livelihood in the coming years.

PMKVY 3.0 has increased focus on demand-driven skill development, digital technology, and skills pertaining to Industry 4.0 to provide candidates with a wider choices in terms of courses to match their aspiration and aptitude. Looking at the changing needs of the skills required in the market and the performance of the previously existing job roles, it was decided to include any new job roles as per market demand. After much assessment and study of the market’s demand post-Covid-19 which will enhance employability of the skilled workforce for new-age and Industry 4.0 job roles, 343 new job roles were identified under the scheme for skills training.

Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Minister, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship shared details about few new job roles under the scheme. Out of all the new job roles identified, 35 have been identified in the agriculture sector, 19 in food processing, 11 in iron and steel, 10 in aerospace, and the rest in other areas like lifestyle, telecom, automotive and rubber. Apart from these, other roles include Pradhan Mantri Arogya Mitra, frontline health workers, graphic designers, solar lighting technicians, animal health workers and hand spinning workers for the textile industry. The ministry has put special focus on agriculture sector by identifying job roles like dairy farm entrepreneurs, aquaculture farmer, seri culturists etc. as by training them not only they will get empowered but sustainable agriculture will also get a push.

PMKVY 3.0 is a short duration scheme (one year long) which envisage ‘Bottom-to-top’ approach at district level which will further allow the district-level skilling committees to determine the demand for particular skills and set up courses accordingly. PMKVY 3.0 align with Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ which can only be achieved by expanding the skilling ecosystem to the district level.

The role of District Skill Committees (DSCs) has been empowered in the third phase of the scheme to bring in greater local/rural connect. The DSCs will be required to lead a myriad activities such as mobilization of the candidates through Awareness and Advocacy, Kaushal Melas and Publicity; counselling of candidates through creation of information; district-level skill gap and demand assessment; formation of training batches and post training support by creation of placement/ self-employment/apprenticeship linkages and much more. This will ensure a healthy competition between different states by making available improved allocation to those states that perform better. DSCs would also be empowered to undertake determination of sectoral priorities at the state level to enhance qualitative and quantitative skill availability for the sector.

With its young population, it is vital that the youth comes forward and script India’s growth story by being a skilled workforce with new age skills for India and  the world in the years to come and achieve PM Modi’s vision of making India the “Skill Capital of the World”.