According to a report by Unicef, the closure of 1.5 million schools in India due to the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted 247 million children. The disruption caused to the Indian education system during the pandemic makes this years’ World Youth Skills Day ever more important. Here Emrah Titiz, president of sales, India, at global leader in metal cutting tools Sandvik Coromant, explains the value of World Youth Skills Day, and how Sandvik Coromant India is contributing.
The country's young people have been heavily impacted by the year-long closure of schools in India. For many students, online education is not an option, with just one in four children having access to the internet. The longer young people stay out of education, the more vulnerable they become, with less chance of returning to school.
India’s future generation has been challenged with irregular teaching, disrupted routines and reduced social contact, as a result of the pandemic. The Indian education system will require additional support to recover from the impact of the pandemic and assist young people back into education.
World Youth Skills Day 2021 provides a great opportunity to promote the importance of supporting young people in India to gain the skills they missed out on during the pandemic. Established in 2014, World Youth Skills Day encourages discussion between young people, training institutions and firms on the development of the education system and the skills needed to attain a successful career.
The School of Manufacturing Excellence
Sandvik Coromant India is promoting the value of World Youth Skills Day, after already supporting a number of schemes to improve the skills of young people in India. For example, in 2018, Sandvik Coromant India partnered with the Indian Government to establish the Sandvik Coromant School of Manufacturing Excellence. The school was opened to train the youth of India from underprivileged and marginalized backgrounds in advanced metal cutting technologies, helping to close the skills gap observed by 92 percent of Indian employees.
Based at the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in Pune, the School of Excellence educates students on advanced cutting techniques and provides a valuable opportunity to improve their employability. The school helps bridge the gap between discrepancies in the traditional academic curriculum and the requirements of industry, with over 200 students graduating earlier this year. After graduating, students are supported by the school to secure industrial placements that will assist them onto the career ladder.
Championing gender equality
Sandvik Coromant India has also supported a number of programmes to help the women of India gain valuable skills for the workplace. Gender equality is a top priority for Sandvik Coromant, which strives to have at least a third of its managerial positions filled by women by 2030.
Engineering scholarships for 20 girls in India have been supported by Sandvik Coromant in the year 2020-2021 through the Lila Poonawalla Foundations (LPF). The organisation also supported the skilling of women for employment in technical and non-technical job roles through the KRAFTSAMLA program, an initiative by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce India that promotes gender equality in the workforce.
The temporary closure of education facilities in India has had a significant impact on the country’s young people, and could affect their job prospects. Sandvik Coromant India is promoting World Youth Skills Day and the value of supporting young people, leading by example with its own educational projects.
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