Since its inception, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has undertaken several initiatives to achieve women empowerment through skill development. Increase of women participation in workforce can give further boost to our economy and Skill India mission is committed to facilitate this through equipping women with market relevant skills and lead them to a path of self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship.
Following initiatives have been undertaken to facilitate skill development among women and spur entrepreneurship.
- Long Term Skill Development Training via Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs)
Through a wide network of 15,042 ITIs, spanning the country, over 22.82 lakh candidates have been enrolled (in the trades of one year and two-year duration) and special focus is laid on enrolment of women. There is nearly 97% increase in admissions in 2018 as compared to 2014 to reach 173,105 women trainees from 87,799.
- Short Term Skill Development Training
The flagship program of the Ministry, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana strives to promote increased participation of women in the workforce through appropriate skilling and gender mainstreaming of skills. Close to 50% of the candidates enrolled and trained under PMKVY are women; out of the total 56 lakh candidates who have benefited from the scheme. The efforts are made to continually revise job roles taking into account market demand and are cognizant of industry requirements for female professionals. Skill India has partnered with Government Initiatives like Ayushman Bharat, Swachh Bharat Mission, Smart City Mission etc. to align skill development efforts to these national missions by ensuring a steady flow of skilled workforce.
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), more than 4 lakh women candidates have been oriented in different skill areas, recognizing their existing skills through a formal certificate and giving them a means to earn better livelihood.
4. Apprenticeship Training
The comprehensive reforms that have been made to the Apprenticeship Act 1961 has opened up opportunities for apprentices in the service sector. Skill India, through NSDC, is conducting focused pilot program with UNDP and Society of Development Alternatives (DA), to benefit more than 50,000 women in 7 states/UTs over a duration of 15 months.
5. Policy Interventions
The National Skill Development Policy focuses on inclusive skill development, with the objective of increased women participation for better economic productivity. To achieve this, emphasis has been laid on creating additional infrastructure both for training and apprenticeship for women; flexible training delivery mechanisms such as mobile training units, flexible afternoon batches along with on local need-based training to accommodate women; and ensuring safe and gender sensitive training environment, employment of women trainers, equity in remuneration, and complaint redressal mechanism. Besides these, the Common Norms approved by Ministry for various skill development programs provide special support for women candidates such as provision of boarding and lodging facilities.
6. Special Women-Centric Projects
NSDC, through its training partners such as Mann Deshi Foundation, Shri Mahila Sewa Sahkari Bank Limited and Sri Sarada Math Rasik Bhita are working exclusively on skill development of women, especially in rural areas. The training constitutes imparting digital, accounting and entrepreneurial skills so as to facilitate the possibility of setting up their own business. NSDC in collaboration with the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation is also driving skill development of workers for Swachh Bharat Mission.
7. Partnerships with Private & Non-Government Organizations to boost skill development
Some of the collaborative efforts with private players include organizations such as Airbnb to support homestay services by providing training in hospitality and tourism sectors. Under a PMKVY project, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham is targeting remote villages to foster women empowerment through skill development and creation of occupational opportunities. The project is focused towards vulnerable and marginalized groups and tribal population. With over 50% participation from women, the project has been implemented in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Partnership with HumaraBachpan Trust in Odisha aims to give employment & entrepreneurship opportunities to about 1500 women belonging to the economically disadvantaged sections. Partnership with Industree Crafts Foundation, a formation of producer group companies, is helping in training and supporting women targeted to benefit 1500 women in Karnataka. Partnership with Youthnet Home Stay Project in North East (Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh) is improving the quality of homestays and providing a source of income to 200 residents.
8. Projects in Pradhan Mantri Mahila Kaushal Kendra (PMMKK)
Recently, more than 6000 training targets have been allocated to train women in 4 PMMKKs. The crèche facility is also available at these centers so as to facilitate the new mothers to take up skill training. Trainings are being conducted for Self Employed Tailor, Beauty Therapist, Customer Care Executive, Hair Stylist, Yoga Trainer, etc.
9. Future jobs and industry-oriented courses
Aligned to NSQF, there are nearly 450 job roles which are concentrated towards skill training of women. Skill India is encouraging participation of women in new-age job roles aligned to Industry such as Artificial Intelligence, 3D printing, Data Analytics etc. and has witnessed increased participation of women in hard skills like welding, automobile mechanics etc. Skill India has also partnered with global industry leaders like SAP, Adobe, IBM to create skill development programs aligned to the needs of Industry.
10. Entrepreneurial Initiatives
MSDE is committed to facilitate growth of women entrepreneurs in the country. NIESBUD under the MSDE has designed Entrepreneurship Development Programs for the rural women, with the objective to inculcate entrepreneurial values, attitude and motivation among the Rural women to take up challenges to set up an enterprise/Group Enterprises. The Livelihood Business Incubation (LB I) approach is also used to promote woman entrepreneurs by the Institute.
National Entrepreneurship Awards, recognized entrepreneurial journeys of women at them. Out of 33 companies which received awards, 12 were solely owned by women and in another two, a woman was a co-founder. Linkage of Skill India and Mudra Yojana has been achieved. Since, women comprise about 78% of the beneficiaries of Mudra Yojana, this linkage will further give boost to aspiring women entrepreneurs.