He emphasized the need to provide this youthful manpower with skills and ability to tackle global challenges, and warned that the demographic dividend would otherwise become a challenge in itself.
Mr Modi said that if the 20th century saw India's foremost technical institutes – the IITs – make a name for themselves globally, the 21st century required that India's ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes), acquire global recognition for producing quality skilled manpower.
He said India could become the world's largest provider of skilled workforce for the world. In order to prepare for this, he said, there was a need for mapping of manpower requirements, not just in India, but globally as well.
The Prime Minister called for constant updating of training programmes and syllabi to ensure that the youth is exposed to latest technology and industry environment. He said the Government would work to promote both apprenticeship and entrepreneurs. He said it is important to predict the possibilities of the future, and prepare for them today itself.
The Prime Minister unveiled the Skill logo, launched the National Skill Development Mission, and released the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015. He also launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) and Skill Loan Scheme. He also felicitated the six Indian medal winners of the World Skill Oceania competition.
Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Manohar Parrikar, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Suresh Prabhu, Ananth Kumar, JP Nadda, Narendra Singh Tomar, Anant Geete, Piyush Goyal, and Thaawar Chand Gehlot were amongst those present on the occasion.
An official press release said that, over the next year, PMKVY would skill 24 lakh youth, across India. For the first time, the skills of young people who lack formal certification, such as workers in India’s vast unorganised sector, will be recognised. Through an initiative known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), 10 lakh youth will be assessed and certified for the skills that they already possess.
Under the Skill Loan scheme, loans ranging from Rs 5,000-1.5 lakhs will be made available to 34 lakh youth of India seeking to attend skill development programmes over the next five years. Sanction letters for the first ever Skill Loans were handed out by the Prime Minister to aspiring trainees today.
He also awarded Skill Cards and Skill Certificates to trainees who had recently completed training through the Pilot Phase of PMKVY, which started in May 2015.
Such Skill Cards and Skill Certificates will allow trainees to share their skill identity with employers. Each Skill Card and Skill Certificate features a Quick Response Code (QR Code), which can be read through a QR reader on mobile devices. Trainees can use these to share their skill qualifications with employers in a quick and reliable way during the job search process.
Across the country, 2,33,000 youth were awarded certificates from ITIs, and 18,000 plus graduating students received job offer letters on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day today. Mr Modi personally presented industry job offer letters to five female ITI graduates at the event.