India, UK team up to fill vast skill gaps

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The government is trying to fill skill gap in logistics and supply chain management by sourcing them through foreign collaboration with countries like UK, which have capabilities in skill development. Out of India’s large young population, of 12.8 million people that enter the workforce, less than 5 per cent receive formal vocational training. An industry event scheduled later this month in Mumbai will focus on identifying key stake holders for joint R&D between India and the UK in logistics and supply chain and what the Maharashtra government can do to facilitate skill development.

The event is to be attended by government representatives, policy makers, sector experts and foreign delegates. It will focus on making the poor part of the training programme for skill development, given the limited financial capabilities of prospective trainees. The meet will also focus on the low-level of remuneration offered in the industry, for example salaries of a truck driver or a warehouse crane operator. Logistics has been identified as a priority sector for skill development by the Indian government. Within logistics, food logistics is growing fast and evolving technologically. There is demand for skilled workforce in food logistics with increased use of modern technologies such as cold storage and warehouse management systems. This has created a demand supply gap, leading to an urgent need to scale up training facilities/infrastructure to match the growing demand for skilled personnel.

Much of the skill development will be through private initiatives. To encourage private participation in skill development, the central government has come up with the National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015. Under the policy, companies are encouraged to spend at least 25 per cent of their corporate social responsibility funds on skill development initiatives directly or through the National Skill Development Fund (NSDF). In this context, the Dun & Bradstreet Tangram Advisory Services is working together with the British high commission, the foreign & Commonwealth Office and the UK trade & investment on the project entitled “Enhancing India’s Competitiveness through Logistics and Supply Chain Efficiency.”