Rising to the challenge of skill gaps in a pandemic world; SOS Children’s Villages of India trains more than 2000 youth in 2 years

New Delhi: SOS Children’s Villages of India, India’s largest self-implementing childcare NGO, organised a media workshop on the topic of ‘Skilling Youth in Pandemic Times’ ahead of the National Youth Day. The workshop was addressed by Mr. Sumanta Kar, Secretary General, SOS Children’s Villages of India along with Mr. Naveen Singh, District Coordinator, Nuh-Haryana Skill Development Mission. 

During the workshop, the NGO informed that in the last two years, it has trained over 2,000 youth in total. As students gain new skills, they become an adaptable force that can adapt to any changes in the industry. This has helped them in finding employment at improved salaries. Students placed from the centres have seen an increase in their minimum first-time salary. The average first time salary of students is at around Rs 15,938 per month.

Mr Sumanta Kar, Secretary General, SOS Children’s Villages of India, said, “In the post-pandemic world, unemployment has increased. This has had more of an impact on vulnerable groups. We felt that there was an urgent need to prepare young people for employment, so that they can earn during and after the pandemic. The Youth Skilling Programme of SOS Children’s Villages of India has been a tremendous success, with our students finding placement with leading companies. We believe that with the right training, our youth can make significant contribution to the industry. We have already seen evidence of this in the last two years and we hope to train more youth in the coming years. In addition, partnerships are vital, be it with the corporate world or the Government, as this helps magnify the impact and reach of the good work being done.”

The NGO offers skill upgrades to youth through the Vocational Training Centres that it runs in Nizamuddin, Raipur, Pallah Nuh, Varanasi, Bhopal and Faridabad. The centres offer courses in Desktop Publishing and Web Designing, Domestic Data Entry Operator, Spoken English and Automotive Repair, among others. Course completion certificates are offered by NIIT and Chattisgarh State Skill Development Authority. Placement percentage at these centres is quite high at 85-90%, with students finding placement in prestigious companies. 

Also known as Vivekananda Jayanti, National Youth Day is celebrated on 12th January every year, to encourage youth to live up to their full potential. This year, SOS Children’s Villages of India highlighted the need for skilling youth during pandemic times. The pandemic has disrupted the global economy and brought about significant and unprecedented changes in the way many of us work. There is a growing skills gap in every industry, which has made many jobs redundant. 

The NGO understands this need for skilling and has incorporated it into its ‘Basket of Care Solutions’. As an NGO, SOS Children’s Villages of India not only provides a loving home to parentless or abandoned children, but also ensures that they receive wholesome child development. Since the pandemic began, the NGO has focused all its efforts on training youth through its Youth Skilling Programme, to make them more employable. 

Young people, especially those belonging to vulnerable communities, have been severely affected by the disruptions the pandemic has brought about; finding employment has become more challenging for the youth. Hundreds and thousands of youths find themselves either unemployed or unemployable because they lack the skills required for the jobs of today. As uncertainty about the future of work increases, it has become necessary to equip youth with the right skills through skilling, reskilling and upskilling. Young people will have to learn new skills and adapt to the changing environment to secure work opportunities.