In his message to the Digital Skills Conclave held today on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day and the fifth anniversary of ‘Skill India’ mission, the Prime Minister exhorted the youth to skill, reskill and upskill in order to remain relevant in the rapidly changing business environment and market conditions. He congratulated the youth of the country on the occasion and said the world belongs to the youth due to their ability to acquire new skills all the time.

He stated that the Skill India Mission launched five years back on the same day has led to the creation of a vast infrastructure for skilling, reskilling and upskilling and enhancing opportunities to access employment both locally and globally. It has led to hundreds of PM Kaushal Kendras being set up across the country and an increase in the capacity of the ITI ecosystem. Due to these concerted efforts, more than five crore youth have been skilled in the last five years. Referring to the portal launched recently for mapping the skilled employees and employers, he stated that this would help the skilled workers, including the migrant workers who have returned to their homes, to access jobs easily and the employers to contact skilled employees at the click of a mouse. He emphasized that the skills of migrant workers would also help in changing the local economy.

He described skills as a gift that we can give to ourselves and added that skills are timeless, unique, a treasure trove, and a means by which one can not only become employable but also help in leading a satisfying life. He said that a natural attraction to acquire new skills provides new energy and encouragement in one’s life. Skills are not only a means to a livelihood but also a reason to feel lively and energetic in our daily routine.

The Prime Minister also brought out the distinction between ‘knowledge’ and ‘skills’ in his address. He illustrated this with an example – that knowing how a cycle runs is ‘knowledge’ while actually being able to ride a cycle was a ‘skill’. It is important for the youth to realize the difference between the two and their different contexts and implications. With an example from carpentry, he explained the nuances between skilling, reskilling, and upskilling.

He further highlighted the potential of the country to capitalize on the skilling opportunities available in the country. He gave the example of the healthcare sector where Indian skilled manpower can supplement the global demand. He stressed the need to map this demand and align Indian standards with those of other countries. Similarly, he suggested that the Indian youth with a long maritime tradition can contribute as expert sailors to merchant navies across the world due to the growing demand in this sector.

The World Youth Skills Day, which is celebrated every year on the 15th of July, was celebrated in the virtual mode this year. Minister of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Dr. Mahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of State of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Shri R.K.Singh, and Group Chairman, Larsen & Toubro Ltd., Shri A.M.Naik addressed the conclave. All stakeholders of the system, including the extensive network of trainees going into lakhs, participated in the conclave.

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