By 2020, India’s population is expected to become the world’s youngest; more than 500 million Indian citizens will be under 25 years of age and more than two thirds of the population will be eligible to work. This means that a growing number of India’s youth need the right educational infrastructure to develop skills and adequate opportunities to get employed or become entrepreneurs.
Building vocational and technical skills is not enough, as marginalized youth need training in soft skills such as communication, leadership and in boosting self-confidence. The ambit covers interpersonal skills like communication skills, teamwork capability, conflict management, cultural awareness and negotiation skills, inter-personal skills like sociability, honesty and integrity, courtesy, work ethic, empathy, responsibility and good manners, and personal traits like imagination, curiosity, passion, persistence and determination. Soft Skills are gaining importance in the job market as these are highly valued by employers and contribute to greater productivity. While in-depth knowledge and industry expertise is essential, proficiency in English, inter-personal skills as well as problem solving and other managerial skills that enable people to work with colleagues across the globe and manage all kinds of diverse situations are important too, as graduates and young adults all over the world face challenges when they leave the campus.
Skills of resilience, empathy, creativity, flexibility and adaptability are going to be critical in this unpredictable future. The urgency is in ensuring that every child in this country is equipped with these skills that are required to be able to adapt to this frantic pace of change and succeed within the unknown. However, one aspect of skilling that has been ignored is the development of soft skills. Soft skills are interpersonal, human or behavioural skills necessary for applying technical skills and knowledge in the workplace. Thus, certain steps are required to be taken to ensure better quality of skill development by incorporating soft skills training in the process of skilling India’s workforce. ICT Academy has found that helping young adults to shape the future direction of their careers is a crucial and critical aspect of their talent development. ICT Academy has addressed this issue by conceptualizing and starting Youth empowerment as one of the pillars.