SRINAGAR — Stressing upon making a concerted effort to bridge the gulf between skill and job, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Wednesday highlighted the need to end the mismatch between what is taught in our institutions and what is the actual requirement of the job markets.
He described unemployment as the biggest challenge that can be overcome only by Public-Private Partnerships. “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 resources,” he stated.
The Chief Minister was addressing a huge gathering at SKICC, where he handed over placement orders from top private sector firms to 300 ITI-trained joyous youth in a Mega Tech Fest – HOPE (Huge Opportunities for Proper Employment), organized by Technical Education Department, here today. He also launched an e-service portal of the Employment Department for the registration of unemployed youth.
Minister for Finance, Labour & Employment, Dr. Haseeb Drabu; Minister for Education, Nayeem Akhtar; Minister for Animal & Sheep Husbandry and S&T, Sajad Gani Lone and Minister for IT, Youth Services & Sports & Technical Education, Imran Raza Ansari were also present on the occasion.
Asking the policy planners to take a leaf out of Germany, which became an engine of the European economy by focusing on skill development, Mufti Sayeed said his government has embarked on a mission to create opportunities for employment for J&K’s skilled youth. He also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on skill development in the country.
“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 to create 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 handing out an assurance on providing security of tenure to officers and laying the edifice of a transparent system by using modern tools like e-governance and digitization.
Urging the private sector to come forward and partner with the government in its resolve to end the scourge of unemployment, Mufti Sayeed singled out the small-scale industrial sector as one of the key areas of absorption of our skilled workforce. “The government will soon come out with a policy on public-private partnership on the creation of employment opportunities,” he said while laying emphasis on youth to hone their skills for enhancing their employability.
Firms like Maruti Suzuki, Cafe Coffee Day, IVY Hospital Mohali, DISH Infra, Competent Synergies, Dr. I. T. Group, Mircro Turner, besides state-based companies like Khyber Group, ALBA Electricals, Himalayan Rolling Steel Mill, Kehwah Group & 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 conditions 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, woodwork, 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.
Asking the universities and colleges to take a lead in promoting market-driven skill courses, the Chief Minister said for making J&K a vibrant ‘Knowledge Hub’, Schools of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship should be established in all the universities and its satellite campuses so that youth are effectively channelized into country’s top firms and companies. “A good beginning is a job half done,” he said while appreciating Minister for IT, YS&S & Technical Education for taking an excellent initiative in creating effective linkages between top private firms and skilled manpower.
Placing high priority on filling up vacancies in the government sector, Mufti Sayeed said he had to strive hard to make PSC and SSB fully functional. “We should not be seen as a state churning out skill out of factories of unemployment but as a proactive force giving them a level-playing field to showcase their talent which they possess in leaps and bounds,” he said while asking the department to regularly organize placement drives by bringing the skilled youth and private sector face-to-face.
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