Kerala youths’ skill sets to get quantum boost

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 17 (IANS) The newly set-up state-owned KASE (Kerala Academy for Skill Excellence) is readying a database of the global job market to benchmark standards and enable it raise the skill sets of its youth to international levels.

“Gone are the days when the quality of Kerala workforce was appreciated as today there has been a huge change in skill-sets and India is about three decades behind in the field of skill-sets in the global workplace,” Kerala’s labour minister Shibhu Baby John, who is also KASE’s vice chairman, said here on Tuesday.

KASE had been formed as Kerala government’s apex skills development agency “to help our youth improve their skills,” he said.

The agency is organising ‘Nypunyam Skill Fiesta’ in Februaray 2016 on the lines of ‘WorldSkills Competition’, an event held every two years in Brazil and billed as “the greatest vocational education and skills excellence competition in the world”.

“The two day event (Nypunyam) is the first such event in the country. The main objective is to focus on sharing of best practices in the area of skill development to introduce our youth to the latest developments in several fields, which will enable them to hugely improve their job search,” said John.

Nypunyam will bring together top industrialists, academicians, policy makers, and government officials to explore the possibilities in industrial partnerships and in enabling “hand-holding exercises” for setting up training centres.

Kerala’s labour secretary Tom Jose said there was huge demand for jobs right from electricians and plumbers to those in areas like fashion technology, automobile technology, mobile robotics, computer aided design, and electronics.

“But the problem that our youth face is that they are not keeping pace with the developments and changes that have taken place. We are getting ready a database so as to find out what the employers are looking for and then we will at KASE come out with suitable courses for the youth who are technically qualified,” said Jose.

John added the Indian Institute for Infrastructure and Construction (IIIC), being built in Kollam at a cost of Rs 100 crores, would also be opened in February. The institute will provide a wide range of construction skills, from that of masons to engineers and other technically qualified people.

“All those who undergo the short-term courses that the institute provides will get an international certification.”
John said KASE the first batch of 120 nurses trained through KASE were finishing their training and many of them had already got new jobs based on the training that was provided.

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