SRINAGAR: Stressing upon making a concerted effort to bridge the “gulf” between skills and jobs, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Wednesday highlighted the need to end the mismatch between what is taught in the institutions and what is the actual requirement of job markets.
He described unemployment as the biggest challenge that can be overcome only by Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
“We have made a new beginning today. The next battle in the world will not be fought with bullets and bombs, but with greater human resource,” he stated.
The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering at SK Internal Conference Centre (SKICC) here, where he handed over placement orders from top private sector firms to 300 ITI-trained youth in a Mega Tech Fest, titled ‘Huge Opportunities for Proper Employment(HOPE)’, organised by the Technical Education Department.
He also launched an e-service portal of Employment Department for registration of unemployed youth.
The Minister for Finance, Labour, and Employment, Dr Haseeb Drabu, Minister for Education, Nayeem Akhtar, Minister for Animal and Sheep Husbandry and S&T, Sajad Gani Lone, and Minister for IT, Youth Services, Sports and Technical Education, Imran Raza Ansari, were also present on the occasion.
Asking the policy planners to learn from Germany, which became an engine of European economy by focusing on skill development, Sayeed said his government has “embarked on a mission to create opportunities of employment for J&K’s skilled youth”.
He also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on skill development in India.
“The Cabinet, in its last meeting, has approved a Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Mission, which will work to create job opportunities for youth in the burgeoning private sector,” he added.
Describing J&K as the crown of India, the Chief Minister said the previous government “failed miserably” in creating linkages between market-ready skilled youth and the private sector.
“Their only interest lay in shifting officers from key positions every now and then, which adversely affected public delivery mechanism,” he said, while assuaging security of tenure to officers and laying “edifice of a transparent system” by using modern tools like e-governance and digitisation. Urging the private sector to come forward and partner the government in its “resolve to end the scourge of unemployment”, Sayeed singled out small-scale industrial sector as one of the key areas of absorption of the skilled workforce.
“The government will soon come out with a policy on public-private partnership on creation of employment opportunities,” he said, laying emphasis on honing skills of the youth for enhancing their employability.
Firms like Maruti Suzuki, Cafe Coffee Day, IVY Hospital, Mohali, DISH Infra, Competent Synergies, Dr I T Group, Mircro Turner, and state-based companies like Khyber Group, ALBA Electricals, Himalayan Rolling Steel Mill, Kehwah Group and Fill Industries have taken a lead in providing gainful employment to these skilled youth of the state.
Hailing the craftsmen and artisans for keeping the handicraft industry “up and alive” through “testing and difficult” times, the Chief Minister said it is his dream to improve their working condition and give them a sense of ownership of the rare art they possess.
“If anyone has given J&K a global identity, it is its craftsmen who make exquisite shawls, wood work, paper machie and carpets with their deft hands. We have to own and nurture their skills just how people do in Central Asian countries,” he stated.
He asked the universities and colleges to take a lead in promoting market-driven skill courses. He said schools of skill development and entrepreneurship should be established in all the universities and their satellite campuses.