For The First Time Since Independence, Govt Gets Serious About India’s Vast Unskilled Labour Force

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6:00 pm 2 Apr, 2015


Do you know that the skilled labour force in India stands at just 2 per cent? It is 96 per cent in South Korea, 80 per cent in Japan and 75 per cent in Germany. Technically, it means that India has a mammoth unskilled labour force – an impediment in the development of any country.

Most of the unskilled labour force work in the capacity of mechanics, plumbers, fitters, electricians, etc. Ninety percent of labour force in construction work is unskilled.

This is devastating bit of information. If India wants to develop, it has to train its labour force.

This is why the government wants to implement the National Skilled Qualification Framework by Dec 2016 so that it can boost Narendra Modi’s ambitious ‘Make in India’ programme.

Under this framework, approved towards the last days of the UPA-II regime, every Central Government job aspirant will have to furnish a certificate stating that they have the skills required by job they are applying to.

The skill certificate will be obtained from any of the 2,500 multi-skilling institutes to be set up across India at a cost of around Rs.24,000 crore.

Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Rajiv Pratap Rudy said:

“Millions of people in India acquire skills through non-formal channels. In the absence of any formal certification, these people are constrained to market their skills in the limited geographies and communities that know of them by the word of mouth. NSQF allows all such skills to be tested and certified.”

A 2014 Reuters report warned that the shortage of skilled labour in India means it risks losing the demographic dividend of 12 million people joining the labour market a year at a time when China’s ageing population will make it lose 6 million of the workforce over the next decade.


The government aims to impart skill training to around 5 crore people in the next two years and to 50 crore by 2022.

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