This Project is Running Under BSDM
launched AAEWS Institute, its vocational skilling arm. The objective was to train youth from economically disadvantaged backgrounds (age 15‐33 years) and provide them with employable skills, coupled with access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Today AAEWS programs across the country enable youth to access entry-level positions and placements in 10 major vocations. Approximately 10,000 young people were reached in 2017-2018, and the youth were trained and subsequently placed in entry level jobs or helped to start their own businesses.
India will have the world’s youngest population by 2020, with an average age of 29 years and 13 million people entering the workforce each year. However, as the ASER survey has shown, learning outcomes of students completing primary or even secondary schooling are extremely low, closing pathways to senior secondary or higher education. While vocational skills could be a short-term solution, only 2 percent of the workforce in India is currently formally skilled, leaving the vast majority of youth without the skills, knowhow or networks to enter the workforce. This leads to large scale unemployment or under-employment, even as industries are unable to fill their job vacancies. The model is based on strong industry linkages and youth counselling and focuses on hands-on skills training. Courses taught include construction including electrical, plumbing, masonry and welding), hospitality (housekeeping, food and beverage service and food production), automotive mechanic, healthcare nursing and beauty and wellness.
services. In addition to industry specific skills, students also learn basic English, computer literacy and life skills. AAEWS has a four-step approach to its vocational training programs:
- Post-placement support
For youth who are interested in setting up their own enterprises near their homes and to support creation of new jobs, AAEWS provides the capital asset and mentoring support to set up micro-enterprises. Up until now, we have supported over 1,500 such youth (primarily women) to set up successful enterprises in the fields of beauty, electrical service and construction. A unique aspect of AAEWS vocational training model is the focus on post-placement tracking and support, coupled with financial sustainability. Youth placed in wage employment or supported to set up micro-enterprises are tracked and mentored for a one-year period to encourage them to continue their current jobs, upgrade to new placements and acquire additional skills. Students are further supported to overcome problems of migration through the AAEWS Alumni (PAL) Network, which provides support in the form of accommodation and mess facilities, counselling, social networks, mediation with employers, support in accessing health services, etc. This suite of post-placement services has been instrumental in increasing the retention of students in their first jobs.
AAEWS has also initiated innovative models to impact the skilling ecosystem.
Migration-support hostels across Delhi, Mumbai and Pune have also been launched to support low-income migrant youth whose first jobs are in these urban areas. Further, several initiatives have been undertaken to increase the sustainability of vocational training through end-user fees and also a ‘business-linked’ training model where trainees use skills to service customers in AAEWS hospitality training centre and beauty course.
AAEWS affiliations include SCVT and government sector skill councils. AAEWS vocational program has won awards from the state governments of Bihar and Jharkhand as well as the SCVT.