Every year, World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is celebrated on 15 July. The aim of WYSD is to recognize the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, and to highlight the crucial role of skilled youth in addressing current and future global challenges. This time, WYSD 2020 will take place in a challenging context.
The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures have led to the closure of training centers and institutes, threatening the continuity of skills development. Amidst this crisis, AIF’s skills training programs MAST and ABLE pivoted to being inclusive and ensuring that none of the beneficiaries would miss out on regular training.
Sakir Sayyed is a beneficiary of the Dell Skilling Center set up by AIF in Pune. His family migrated from a small village in Begusarai, Bihar to Pune, Maharashtra in search of a livelihood and with a hope of a better future for their only child, Sakir. His father is a fitter mechanic and his mother is a domestic worker. Their family income, which was irregular and dependent on daily wages, was severely impacted by Covid-19.
As young people continue to show their adaptability and resilience at this challenging time, AIF spoke to Sakir to see how he is coping and continuing to learn.
How are you keeping up with your learning and skills training?
After doing a course of Graphics and Print Design from AIF, I make sure to practice those skills every day. I work on photo-editing, logo designing, and other skills, and I share it with my batch-mates to get their feedback. I also like to take help from our AIF trainers if and when I get stuck somewhere.
Inspired by English grammar sessions taught by AIF, I started working on my English and other communication skills – I try to interact and make use of what I’ve learnt wherever possible.
What do you need to continue with applying your skills?
I want to do a short-term vocational course in Photography for 6 months, as this will help me develop my skills and earning potential better. Given my family’s current financial condition I may not be able to afford a professional course. It would be really a great help if we could get access to such skilling courses through AIF’s skills training programs.
What message would you like to share with other young people?
Due to low awareness about vocational skills, many people aren’t able to make career choices according to their aptitudes. I feel lucky that I got to attend the course of Graphics and Print Media and I can gladly say that I got direction to my career path only because of AIF. I got to learn many new things and now I feel quite confident about my career choices.
I would suggest other students of my age group to explore more vocational fields rather than just going for conventional career choices. If you work in a field that interests you, it will never feel like a burden and you will enjoy what you are doing throughout your life.
Since inception, AIF’s Livelihoods programs have helped skill 140,000 youth across India. More and more young people like Sakir will need to be equipped with skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to disruptions. You can support them with a generous contribution to #AIFCOVID19Response.