Friday, June 14, 2024

AP takes ‘skill’ route to propel growth rate

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C Pradeep Kumar

The State government, under the guidance of CM Jagan Mohan Reddy, has been focusing on Andhra Pradesh State Skill Development Corporation (APSSDC) with an avowed goal of helping the State achieve a double-digit growth rate and putting it among the most developed states in the country. In order for that dream to come true, an accent is being laid on skilling and entrepreneurship to eventually turn AP into a skilled workforce and knowledge hub of the world.

During the year 2022, many initiatives were taken by the APSSDC under the guidance of CM Jagan Mohan Reddy with a commitment towards instilling quality into the skill development ecosystem of the State. The State has initiated a holistic strategy to improve access and quality of the skill development initiatives through a ‘Cascading Skill Ecosystem model. In order to achieve these objectives, the government has been meticulously working on the modalities. Several meetings have been held with the Chief Secretary level officers and Minister for Skill Development to effectively utilise the existing government infrastructure with minimal refurbishments and develop the skill cascading system.

As per the directions of the government, a coordinated approach involving multiple stakeholders such as Department of Employment & Training, Department of Technical Education, and Department of Collegiate Education has been taken up. APSSDC has been instructed to spearhead the concept of ‘Cascading Skill Ecosystem’ which includes pooling the resources (human & finance).

‘Skill Hubs’ are a Legislative Assembly constituency unit that shall act as a ‘local hub’ catering to the demands of local industries. It is proposed to establish at least one skill hub per Assembly constituency which will impart skill training of National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF Level) 1-4 courses. Special Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been approved by the State Chief Secretary for the implementation of Skill Hubs training.

In phase 1, 66 Skill Hubs across 64 Assembly Constituencies have been planned, existing infrastructure in government institutes like ITIs, Polytechnics and Government Degree Colleges have been identified and mapped. As many as 32 ITIs, 17 Polytechnics, 17 Degree colleges were mapped to train 2,490 per batch with an aim to train 10,000 people per annum.

Under Phase 2, 111 locations have been identified. Training centres are being registered in Skill India Portal for dovetailing the Central Skill Targets. In addition the Government has issued directions for conducting training of the trainers (TOT) to the internal resources of APSSDC, SEEDAP, and NAC for creating redundancy of trainers which shall be utilized for entire cascading skill ecosystem. The financial estimate was Rs 40.05 crore that includes phase 1 66 skill hubs and phase 11, 111 skill hubs besides bus pass cost and training of trainees.

The other initiative was the setting up of Skill colleges, Skill Colleges are being envisaged as high-end institutes offering advanced courses to ensure placements with high packages of salary. Each skill college shall offer training in NSQF Level 5 and above courses with main focus emerging industrial trends and technologies. Key focus will be on the recently passed out graduates looking for employment.

Skill colleges are identified at Visakhapatnam, Anakapalli, Nellore, and Guntur in the first phase with 330 candidates per batch with a total of 1320 per annum. Under the second phase Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Araku, Ongole, Chittoor, and Rajampet besides Hindupur, Tirupati, Kakinada, Anantapur, Rajahmundry, and Narasaraopet and the renovation works of phase 1 and 2 are estimated with a cost of Rs 7.43 crore.

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