Importance of evolving skill development from a young age

In the ever-changing world scenario concerning the industry and job market, there is an overpowering need for skilled workers. However, the definition of skill in India and the world, in general, has changed over the years. India is relatively young as a nation with around 28 million youth being added every year. More than 50% of them are below the age of 25 and more than 65% of them are below 35. We often boast of India’s demographic dividend, but the question that arises is that what we can do with this if our youth is not skilled enough and how to enhance their employability.

In the present context of globalization, the demand for skilled and multi-skilled employable candidates has increased. More than 90% of employment opportunities require vocational skills. Only about 20% of the graduates are said to be employed. The rest are unable to get suitable employment owing to lack of employable skills.

In general, apart from the core subject expertise, some of the prominent employable skills that most employers seek are the following:

  1. communication skills (verbal and written)
  2. commercial awareness
  3. attitude towards work
  4. lifelong learning
  5. self-management
  6. teamwork
  7. problem solving
  8. initiative
  9. self-motivation
  10. adaptability
  11. stress management
  12. creativity
  13. interpersonal sensitivity
  14. technology/IT skills

Skill Development and how it helps when started at School Level

Skill development should ideally begin at the age of 10 years while in school. At the school level, effective learning environments must be deployed in primary schools at a young age and also at the secondary stage of schooling. Integration of skill development and education is essential for skilling to take on wings. Skill development will remain a dream if carried out in isolation through centres alone. It has to be imparted in schools alongside academics which is why Ellen Sharma Memorial tries to stand out from the rest. Many courses in fields such as hospitality and tourism, handicraft, healthcare, textiles, photography, IT, retail, banking etc. have been added so that it can interest students to learn from. We also ensure that our students get to learn through field visits, e-learning, industry-driven projects, digital or video inputs and so on. After school activities in sholinganallur are also planned to not disturb school curriculum.

In the current changing scenarios, there are ample opportunities for students to choose from and excel in. However the Indian thought process if more clued on to typical traditional academic streams and careers in the field of engineering, medicine, accounts etc. This needs to change. There have been numerous instances where a student is pushed into a particular field due to parental/peer pressure only to realise at a later stage in life about his/her passion or calling in life and to start all over again from scratch. This is where an introduction to skill training at a young age can give the student an opportunity to explore various options and he/she may narrow down on a vocation of his/her liking.  Apart from these, introducing students to some of the employable skills mentioned above will also help them prepare for and adapt to real work situations without much effort. It can ease the transition phase from being a student to being a professional.