In most developed countries, nearly 95% of the youth between the ages of 15 to 25 years, learn trade or a skill or a competence, in a formal manner. In India, this figure is less than 1%. Based on the current trends in India’s labour participation and unemployment rate, it is estimated about 423 million of India’s working-age population will be unemployed or unable to participate in the job market by 2030.
But there are ways to alleviate this situation. One institution which is trying hard to make a change is GRAVITY, a joint venture between established MFI Grameen Koota, and vocational training institute Vidya Poshak (which provides the teachers, curriculum and all the other educational resources). GRAVITY has been our field partner for about two months now, and we are proud to announce that our partnership has reached an important milestone. Using the money that has been raised through Milaap, GRAVITY has started the vocational training program for a batch of students at its Dharwad Resource Center. The three-month course officially began on April 17th, 2011.
Students listen intently during a lecture at Dharwad Resource Center
Out of the 78 people who had applied for the program, 37 students were selected through an entrance exam which was conducted to test reading, comprehension and data & problem solving skills. Nine of the students have had work experience prior to the program, including a primary school teacher, a loan officer for MFIs, and even an ex-State Level cricketer in the Under 19 team!
It is interesting to note that out of the 37 students who have enrolled in the program, a healthy thirteen of them are girls. In addition, ten of the students belong to Minorities, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. All of the students are aged between 18 and 23, and of course have the basic qualification of PUC. GRAVITY has found that Nursing Care and Retail (Shop Assistants) seem to be preferred option amongst the students.
Thirty-seven students have been selected by GRAVITY for the vocational training course at Dharwad Resource Center
The students who had applied were from Dharwad, Hubli, Belgaum and surrounding areas. The vocational training will be conducted at the Dharwad Resource Centre, which is one of the branches in which GRAVITY conducts its courses.
We couldn’t be happier about this important milestone in Milaap’s history. And make sure to keep following our blog! We will soon introduce you to some of the students who are taking part in this course. Their stories are truly worth sharing!
A candid shot of students enjoying group activities during their training course
The course fees per student are Rs 10000. Milaap has raised the course fees for all the students in this batch through its lenders. Students who undergo training with GRAVITY secures a job that pays roughly Rs 7000, with 100% job placement guarantee, creating long-term and wide-spread impact. It is often said that an investment in education is the the wisest investment that one can make, and this certainly rings true here!