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The budget conundrum: How to reskill 1 billion people for the jobs of tomorrow

It is time to take skill development programmes out of the limits of physical classrooms and to encourage investment in the segment through PLI-like schemes, say experts.

Knowledge delivery systems are changing and this budget has an opportunity to bring in policies that can give a big push to India’s manufacturing ambitions. The budget can provide the necessary policy push to ensure that Indian youth learn courses at ease and without burning a hole in their pockets, they say.

As the country has a young population — with a huge chunk in the workable-age bracket — skilling and reskilling requirements would go up. Ensuring these needs are met would also help attract more manufacturers to set up factories in the country.

Sumit Kumar, CBO, TeamLease Degree Apprenticeship, acknowledges that in the last two years, online education has benefited many and classrooms have not been just confined to a physical location. However, blue-collared workers, who are at the bottom of the pyramid, have not been able to reap the benefits here. “We need to break the barriers of the traditional classrooms. The classroom need not be just confined to four walls, it could be on-the-job. It could even be online,” he says.

A blend of both online learning and on-the-job learning can make a huge impact and address the employability and the gross-enrollment issues, Kumar says.

Another advantage of online or hybrid courses is that it does not require the physical infrastructure that an offline delivery system demands. This would make it easier to start institutes that deliver such courses and the fees can also be affordable.

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