Message from the CEO
LabourNet’s Vision & Government Policy Initiatives: Synergies and Opportunity to enable Livelihoods
As the skill development landscape is taking a concrete shape with schemes and policies from the central government, I would like to look back and relate our journey so far with the emerging ecosystem. Today, at the national level, there is awareness and support for multiple pathways and flexible options to learn, get skilled and seek employment. This trend has always been our core endeavor in enabling livelihoods through education, employment and entrepreneurship.
Our vision of enabling livelihoods closely aligns with some of the policy level decisions manifested in PMKVY, RPL, National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme, B.Voc Courses and Equivalence for ITIs through NIOS.
When we charted our vision in 2008, we put together an agenda that included LabourNet’s holistic approach through three types of training solutions that were linked with full-time jobs, part-time jobs and entrepreneurship. This was translated into enabling livelihoods through wage employment, self-employment and entrepreneurship by creating multiple paths to learn and earn in the informal sector. This resonates with the goals of PMKVY and finds a place in the guidelines for successful implementation of the scheme.
Path towards full-time and part-time employment
Thanks to schemes like National Apprenticeship Promotion (NAPS) and equivalence for ITI students through NIOS, new pathways have been created to facilitate career growth. B.Voc courses are bringing in the much-needed newer options to become a graduate. And students from ITIs need not lose heart since their trade certifications don’t hit the dead end but open up multiple paths for higher education through NIOS bridge course. Apprenticeship is not limited to formal sector or manufacturing industry but it has brought in services sector into the fold.
We, at LabourNet made a small beginning to build career paths for candidates through our “Earn and Learn” model using the Flexi-MOU route about 1.5 years ago. The newly changed National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme & NIOS gives the Industry a way to participate in career growth and skilling of candidates and candidates a clear career path to learn industry relevant skills.
PMKVY and RPL
With PMKVY, the government is extending support to candidates (who could be full-time employees) through funds for courses that lead to higher productivity and better formal skilling a certification. Another critical aspect of PMKVY is the emphasis on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and RPL with bridge training. RPL assumes a critical role in bridging the gap between informal and formal sector. It provides an opportunity to 80% of the workforce who operate in the informal sector to get their first certification without which it is impossible to move up the career path and explore equitable options for employment.
For us at LabourNet this is an enormous opportunity as what we have been doing in the construction sector for the past 6 years can be scaled up to all sectors. We have always strongly believed in respecting and recognising existing knowledge and skill sets and then identifying gaps in the learning which we bridge through training to increase candidates/ workers productivity. Now that RPL is being promoted as a mainstream model, from our vantage point we see great scope for implementing RPL in every single trade and sector.
Since there’s a significant number of people who cannot get jobs and need to get self-employed, our focus has been on enabling self-employment and facilitating entrepreneurship. Through our livelihood centers, we plan to support startups and micro-entrepreneurs set up enterprises like tailoring/ apparel, beauticians, tailors and auto servicing.
With the current focus from the government on promoting entrepreneurship, there’s tremendous scope for these startups to form the future entrepreneurial hub and the livelihood centers could eventually become worker facilitation centres & startup capital for each cluster fostering mentorship, procurement services and compliances. This also brings in responsibility in terms of ensuring that the entrepreneurs actually earn through group enterprises or individual enterprises.
It’s good see that most of our livelihood initiatives are proactively meeting the government norms and we look forward to widen our impact and sustain it as we continue our journey.