India must follow the example of countries like Russia and China by holding skill competitions, starting at school level, to realise its rich demographic dividend and boost vocational education, WorldSkills International CEO David Hoey said today. The chief executive of WorldSkills, which promotes skill development globally, believes that India’s huge youth population is a challenge as well as an opportunity.
“India has to clearly have a united, non-bureaucratic, non-political strategy that commits the country to skills development,” he told PTI in an interview here, on the sidelines of the WorldSkills Competition. Speaking about best practices followed globally, Hoey said: “Certainly our observations are that where there is a strong partnership between industry, education and government, each one taking responsibility for their role in the country’s economic development, it (skilling) seems to work better”. Hoey said that to promote skilling in a big way, India has to commit fully to the skills competition process, where Russia, China and many other countries have a defined, clear strategy.
“What India should do, is what Russia, China and other countries are doing. In every school across the country they have a competition locally, then at the regional level, then within the state and then nationally. “So you’ve got more people going in the skills trades and technology, those who graduate are of a higher quality and whether they work for the government or the companies, your products are better and they have lower cost,” he said.
Twenty-eight young competitors from India are demonstrating their prowess in trades like jewellery design, beauty therapy, mobile robotics, automobile technology and cooking at the WorldSkills Competition here, vying for medals.