Modi exhorts youth to "skill, reskill and upskill"
New Delhi, July 15, 2020
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today stressed the need for young people to learn the skills needed for gainful employment and to refresh and upgrade the skills to remain relevant in the rapidly changing business environment and market conditions.
In his message to the Digital Skills Conclave held today on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day and the fifth anniversary of the "Skill India" mission, Modi said the world belongs to the youth due to their ability to acquire new skills all the time.
He said the coronavirus (COVID-19) has changed the nature of jobs as well as the world culture. “Many people ask me, that in today's time, businesses and markets change so fast that they do not understand how to retain their relevance. In this time of corona crisis, this question has become even more crucial.
“I always give one answer to this question. The mantra to stay relevant is skill, reskill and upskill. Skill means you learn a new skill. For example, you learnt to make a chair with a piece of wood. That was your skill. You also increased the price of that piece of wood; so value addition is done. But in order to maintain these prices, something new has to be added every day, new style or new designs etc. One has to keep learning new things for the same. And the meaning of learning something new is reskill. And to expand that skill further is called upskill. Like, from making small furniture if you start designing the whole office. Knowing, understanding, and following this mantra is very important in our lives,” he added.
“Skill is something which we gift to ourselves, which grows with experience. Skill is timeless; it keeps getting better with time. Skill is unique, it makes you different from others. Skill is a treasure that nobody can take away. It is self-reliance, it not only makes one employable but also self-employable. This power can take a person to greater heights.
The Prime Minister said the Skill India Mission launched five years back on the same day has led to the creation of a vast infrastructure for skilling, reskilling and upskilling and enhancing opportunities to access employment both locally and globally. It has led to hundreds of PM Kaushal Kendras being set up across the country and increase in the capacity of the ITI ecosystem.
Due to these concerted efforts, more than five crore youth have acquired the necessary skills in the last five years. Referring to the portal launched recently for mapping the skilled employees and employers, he stated that this would help the skilled workers, including the migrant workers who have returned to their homes, to access jobs easily and the employers to contact skilled employees at the click of a mouse. He emphasized that the skills of migrant workers would also help in changing the local economy.
He highlighted the potential of the youth to capitalize on the skilling opportunities available in the country. He gave the example of the healthcare sector where Indian skilled manpower can supplement the global demand. He stressed the need to map this demand and align Indian standards with those of other countries. Similarly, he suggested that Indian youth with a long maritime tradition can contribute as expert sailors to merchant navies across the world due to the growing demand in this sector.
The World Youth Skills Day was celebrated in virtual mode this year. Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship R K Singh and Group Chairman, Larsen & Toubro A M Naik addressed the conclave. All stakeholders of the system, including the extensive network of trainees going into lakhs, participated in the event.