Vipin Kumar, 51, has closely worked with Kaushal Vikas Yojna, the NDA government’s ambitious skill development scheme, in Bihar for four years. He believes the programme is set to bring about an entrepreneurship revolution in the country
I came into the skill development sector in 2014, before which I was serving in the Indian Air Force. A year later, when the NDA government launched the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna, I knew I had to be a part of it. Currently, I am the state head of JITM Skills, which is one of the partner firms collaborating with National Skill Development Corporation for running various skill training centres on a pan-India basis.
I take care of around four centres, namely Banka, Khagaria, Saharsa and Madhepura (in Bihar) with 750 students in each centre (3,000 students in total). How we differ from many other skill development firms is that we don’t wait for students or those in need of skill development programmes to come to us; we go from village to village to evaluate and mobilise the youth. We asses them and then pick up only the ones that look promising; those who wouldn’t drop out midway and those who have the capacity to take initiative to learn about a particular skill.
The training and assessment fees are paid by the government. This dedicated mobilisation initiative on our part is what is leading our particular centres to flourish. The sheer number of students means we have to run two four-hour batches.
I can say that this programme is successful because so far we have been able to give placement to nearly 70% of our students from under-privileged backgrounds. Part of the training partner payment structure is linked to the placements – at least 50% placement in a particular centre is required. So far, we have faced no financial losses as partner firm, in fact we are opening new branches. What is more heartening is the fact that more girls taking admission in our various courses than boys, and this is the same across all our four centres despite the difference in demographics. The two most popular courses in Bihar are Health and Apparel.
I would consider the Kaushal Vikas Yojna a successful initiative, though I believe the success of these centres depends a lot on the soft skills of those in charge of running them. A lot of youngsters coming from villages are hesitant to ask questions regarding the course or the job opportunities and it is our duty to make them feel comfortable and give them the correct information as well as the strengths of a particular course.
We make sure that students choose industry-relevant skill training programmes wisely because they would also be investing their time for at least 3-4 months. The NSDC also makes sure that everything is run smoothly and so far we have faced no official roadblocks.
So far we have had only freshers come to our centres, meaning that no one who has already done a skill training programme somewhere else has approached us. We hope people living in the area where our centres are running can also avail the benefits of our various training programmes.