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Skill Development minister suggests minimum certified skilled workforce in tendering of manpower intensive projects
Minister of State for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship, Youth Affairs and Sports (Independent Charge), today emphasized the need to re-visit the Minimum Wages Act to align wages to the levels defined in the National Skills Qualification Framework.
"Work must also commence on developing models for recognition of prior learning and developing a well-integrated credit framework for the country," Sarbananda Sonowal, the minister, said while inaugurating FICCI's 7th Global Skills Summit 2014 on the theme 'India's Skill Ecosystem: From Design to Action'.

The Minister said that it was important, through both macro and micro policies to create a pull factor which attracts and also enforces the people to get skilled to get into employment or self-employment.

"One such example could be to include a minimum percentage of certified skilled work force in the tendering process of every manpower intensive project and increase the minimum percentage every year by a reasonable margin based on the life of the project", he said, adding that at the local level, the industry could enforce it by ensuring that their ancillary services like drivers, housekeeping and security and people at the shop floor are certified skilled.

Sonowal said that for skilling India it was imperative to excite and engage the youth of the country to participate without inhibitions along with meeting the local aspirations, demand and conditions. 

The Minister later released the FICCI-KPMG knowledge paper on 'India's Skill Ecosystem: From Design to Action' and the FICCI-NSDC-IFFCO Foundation report on Skills Development Centre.

Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Senior Vice President, FICCI, pointed out that to achieve the PM's vision developing skills for employability rather than certificates, "The fundamental requirement is creating an ecosystem which assigns dignity to vocational education. This would go a long way in addressing the 'aspirational mismatch' that majority of our students go through. Unlike the old times where a degree alone guaranteed job security, in this new generation 'employability' is the key for securing jobs. A massive campaign is thus required to ensure that our youth, especially women take up vocational education and technical training as a career choice and not a chance."  

RCM Reddy, MD & CEO, IL&FS Education and Skills and Chairman, FICCI Skill Development Forum, underlined the need for convergence of skill development efforts in the country and stated that the challenge was to make the Sector Skills Councils standards acceptable to industry.

The FICCI-KPMG paper points out that for the creation of a skill ecosystem, it would be extremely important to have the government's commitment for labour laws reforms and revisiting minimum wages act keeping NSQF as base for fixing wages and periodic revision taking inflation into account and having effective enforcement.

The FICCI-NSDC-IFFCO report sets out process guideline for setting up skill development centre. The guidelines, prepared in the light of real time experiences witnessed by researchers, incorporate best practices in skill development across the globe.

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