Upskilling youth for brighter future
Post by RK News on Monday, November 27, 2023
The valley of Kashmir, despite its wealth of world famous natural beauty, has been a place of uncertainty in the past. Yet, amidst the struggles, the youth of the valley have shown remarkable resilience towards peace, progress and development. The central and UT government have made commendable strides in increasing literacy rates and improving access to education. However, traditional education alone is not sufficient to equip our youth for a rapidly evolving global economy. We must look beyond textbooks and classrooms towards skill development or 'upskilling' - a process of teaching specific competencies that are directly related to employment opportunities. In this digital era, technological skills like coding, data analysis, and digital marketing are in high demand. Simultaneously, skills like communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking are equally important. By integrating such skill-training into the existing education system, we can provide our youth with the tools they need to compete on a global platform. Moreover, upskilling is not merely about employment. It is about empowering the youth, giving them the confidence to shape their own futures and contribute positively to their communities. A young person equipped with relevant skills can innovate, create, and inspire - becoming not just a job seeker, but a job creator. There have been some successful initiatives in this direction. The Udaan scheme, launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs, aims to provide skills training and enhance the employability of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir. The Himayat program, another initiative, provides skill development training to unemployed youth to enhance their ability to secure meaningful employment. These initiatives have shown promise, but more needs to be done. The government and the private sector need to work together in this endeavor. Businesses can play a critical role by providing internships, apprenticeships, and mentorship opportunities. The government can facilitate this by providing incentives and creating policies that encourage such initiatives. It is also important to ensure that opportunities are equitable. Special efforts must be made to reach the most marginalized and remote areas in the valley. Girls and young women, often sidelined in such initiatives, must be prioritized to ensure gender equality. Upskilling the youth of the UT is not just a necessity, but an opportunity to change narratives, transform lives, and foster sustainable development. The youth are not just the future - they are the now. By investing in them, we invest in a brighter, more prosperous future for Jammu and Kashmir.