More young people live in India than in any other country and their numbers are projected to increase for decades to come. More than 12 million enter the workforce each year yet few have the skills required for employment. The Government of India has set a target to skill 400 million people by 2022 and established the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) as part of this mission. Through NSDC, government is engaged with private sector partners to advance strategic approaches in skills development by creating public-private partnerships with companies involved in skill training. This is at the centre of a skills business “ecosystem” in India through which all players interact to produce a positive, productive system to skill millions.
Momentum for the skills development movement comes not only from the urgent need to provide livelihoods for youth but also from the need to act before a window of opportunity closes. The “youth bulge” in India’s population is poised to deliver a demographic dividend, a transformational boost in economic productivity associated with growing numbers in the workforce relative to dependents. Only through investing in up-to-date education, health and decent work for youth can India harness this dividend. India requires skills to sustain its rapid economic growth, to integrate its large working-age population into the economy in an inclusive and sustainable manner and, ultimately, India needs skills in order to become a global supplier of human resources.