India’s 62% of the population is in the working age group and more than 54% is below the age of 25. The labour force in the coming twenty year is estimated to decrease by 4% while that in India is expected to increase by 32%. It could be a challenge for the Government to provide jobs for such huge numbers. The Prime Minister’s vision of Make in India is aimed at creating jobs for millions in the coming years. This is supported by Skill India Mission which aims to train 1 crore people by 2020 to cater to the new jobs being created. There are a number of Training Providers and certifying agencies conducting training/Skilling programmes of a vast variety in the country. This also brings the need to standardise the skilling ecosystem so that all trainee certified skilled for a particular job role by different agencies are considered at par.

Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship aims to do this through National Skills Qualification Framework which explains the governing guidelines for all Skill Development course in the Country. The Ministry of Finance, through its notification number No. 8/6/2013-Invt.dated 27th December, 2013 has notified that National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF) will be applicable since December 2013 and all other frameworks, including the NVEQF (National Vocational Educational Qualification Framework) released by the Ministry of HRD, cease to exist, and are superseded by the NSQF. The Notification entitles NSQF compliant training/ educational programmes/courses to receive government funding on a preferential basis since December 2013.

After the third anniversary date of the notification of the NSQF, (December, 2016), Government funding would not be available for any training/ educational programme/ course which is not NSQF-compliant and all government-funded training and educational institutions shall define eligibility criteria for admission to various courses in terms of NSQF levels. The recruitment rules of the Government of India and the public sector enterprises of the central government shall also be amended to define eligibility criteria for all positions in terms of NSQF levels. State Governments shall be encouraged to amend their recruitment rules as well as those of their public sector enterprises to define eligibility criteria for all positions in terms of NSQF levels. After the fifth anniversary date of the notification of the NSQF it shall be mandatory for all training/educational programmes/courses to be NSQF-compliant and all training and educational institutions shall define eligibility criteria for admission to various courses in terms of NSQF levels.

A register of all NSQF approved qualifications will be available at www.nqr.gov.in The institutions wishing to avail Government funding for Skilling must align their courses to NSQF approved qualifications. They may contact the respective awarding bodies (SSCs/NCVT) for this. The details of Sector Skill Councils (SSCs) are available at www.nsdcindia.org

The author is working with the Textile Sector Skill Council (TSC) which is mandated to develop Skill Ecosystem for Textile Mill and handloom Sector. Further details on TSC may be accessed at www.texskill.in or writing to [email protected]