Bangalore, Feb 7 IANS | 9 months ago

Germany Friday offered to provide its dual vocational training to India for leveraging the country's demographic dividend and empowering its youth with skills.

"We are committed to bring our dual vocational training model in India to benefit its rising younger generation," visiting German President Joachim Gauck said.

Addressing at the Bertelsmann Stiftung-Infosys conference on building a training system in India, he noted about 500 million Indians were projected to enter the global labour market in the next 10 years.

"Economy must be willing to take responsibility beyond needs of individual companies while public and private elements should fund vocational schools," Gauck told about 100 Indian and German entrepreneurs, scientists and politicians in the IT bellwether's campus.

Recalling the success of dual vocational training in Germany, he said the pressure on the Indian government to build an effective education system would be enormous.

"Over the next 10 years, one in four working-age people in the world will live in India. The degree of professional qualification is crucial in determining whether India, with its emerging generation, will experience a demographic dividend or a demographic time bomb," Gauck observed.

Participants discussed how to provide professional qualifications to young Indians entering the labour market and how to transfer the German education system to India.

The German dual vocational system, consisting of practical training in companies and theoretical education in schools, is well-respected, especially in the southern European countries facing high unemployment.

"The German system is not directly transferable, but the conference provided food for thought to improve the quality of vocational education in India and give its young people hope for future," said Bertelsmann Foundation vice-chair Liz Mohn.

German companies such as Bosch, BMW and Volkswagen expressed willingness to do more to support vocational qualifications in India.

As a role model, Infosys trains 14,000 skilled workers and IT specialists each year with the support of the German foundation.

"As we live not in a European or American or Asian century, but in a global century, we want to build a bridge so that India can deal with its huge demographic challenge better," Mohn noted.

As a German think tank promoting development of sustainable society, the foundation organised the two-day conference on "How to tackle the skills mismatch in India".

Though youth is India's greatest asset, many of them lack skill sets required for effective employment. As a result, the skills mismatch poses a huge challenge for the country's growing economy.

"We have always encouraged a culture of learning and knowledge sharing to help build a brighter tomorrow. It is an honour to be associated with Bertelsmann and learn from its experience to generate right ideas that will help us address challenges of skills mismatch," said Infosys co-founder and chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy.

Noting that it was imperative for companies, academia and governments to collaborate to improve skill sets of the employable population, he said the dual vocational training would help foster economic growth across the country.

(Posted on 07-02-2014)

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