Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the youth should skill, reskill and upskill themselves to remain relevant in the rapidly changing business environment and market conditions, which were impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day and the fifth anniversary of “Skill India Mission”, Mr. Modi said the mission — launched exactly five years ago — had led to the creation of vast infrastructure for skilling, reskilling and upskilling and enhancing opportunities for access to employment, both locally and globally.

Kaushal Kendras
Under the programme, hundreds of PM Kaushal Kendras had been set up and capacity of the ITI ecosystem increased. More than five crore youth were skilled.

Referring to a portal launched recently for mapping the skilled employees and employers, the Prime Minister said it would help the skilled workers, including the migrant workers who had returned to their homes, to access jobs easily and the employers to contact skilled employees at the click of a mouse. Skills of migrant workers would also help in changing the local economy.

“Skill is something which we gift to ourselves, which grows with experience. Skill is timeless, it keeps getting better with time. Skill is unique, it makes you different from others. Skill is a treasure that nobody can take away. And, skill is self-reliance, it not only makes one employable but also self-employable,” the Prime Minister said.

He said a natural inclination to acquire new skills provided new energy and encouragement in one’s life.

Distinguishing between “knowledge” and “skill”, the Prime Minister said knowing how a cycle ran was “knowledge”, while actually being able to ride a cycle was a “skill”.

Mr. Modi highlighted the potential to capitalise on skilling opportunities, giving example of the healthcare sector where Indian skilled manpower could supplement the global demand.

He said there was a need to map such opportunities and align Indian standards with those of other countries.

Minister for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State R.K. Singh, and Larsen and Toubro Limited Group Chairman, A.M. Naik, also addressed the digital conclave.