Rapid population growth is set to make India the world’s most populous country by 2025. With the country’s youth entering the workforce in growing numbers every year and frequently migrating to large urban centers to seek opportunity, India has the opportunity to reap a “demographic dividend” from its young population. Yet millions of young people come to cities from disadvantaged backgrounds with little to no prior education and lack the basic skills to obtain gainful employment. At the same time, the parallel expansion of India’s high-growth industries requires a skilled workforce – resulting in a fundamental imbalance in the labor market. Skills development holds the key to India’s ability to activate the vast potential of its youth population for inclusive growth and to evolve as the hub of the global economy.
The Market Aligned Skills Training (MAST) works to address this systemic imbalance by providing unemployed young people with a comprehensive skills training that equips them with the knowledge and skills needed to secure employment and succeed on the job. MAST not only meets the growing demands of the diversifying local industries across the country, it harnesses India’s youth population to become powerful engines of the economy.
Skills development holds the key to India’s ability to activate vast potential of its youth population for inclusive growth and to evolve as the hub of the global economy.
MAST begins with a labor market scan in each region, working closely with employers to develop the market-aligned training curricula that form the heart of the program’s skills training. Set over a period of three months, the training combines foundational, workforce readiness skills with industry-specific skills, ranging from retail, basic IT, healthcare to hospitality, creating multi-sector job opportunities for marginalized young people. Upon completion of the training, qualified candidates are placed into entry-level jobs, creating a path to financial independence. In addition to private employment partners such as Reliance and ICICI Bank, MAST is aligned with the framework of the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC).