Bhubaneswar, Oct 6 (PTI) Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Saturday said it is essential to equip the youth with new age skills to meet the requirements of the market. Also Read - Odisha Govt Reduces Tuition Fee in All Private Schools For 2020-21 Academic Session

India is a country of young people and its demographic dividend is our asset, while the challenge is to map the aspirations of our youth with the opportunities, the Union Skill Development Minister said while chairing a workshop ‘Closing the Skills Gap and Future of Jobs’ here. Also Read - Odisha Woman Pays Rs 50,000 to Contract Killers to Get Daughter Killed, Arrested

“Our education system has given knowledge and empowerment, it must also equip our youth with employability. Also Read - Odisha Village Residents Take its Famous 'Pattachitra' Art to New Heights

It is important that we connect young generation with the new age skills. Demand mapping is key to keep up with the requirements of the market,” Pradhan said.

Co-organised by National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and World Economic Forum (WEF), the objective of this day-long workshop was to identify pathways for human-centered and sustainable growth and to reflect upon coherent and coordinated strategies to proactively prepare for and shape the future of work.

Noting that inclusion of women in workforce is another imperative, Pradhan said bringing more and more women in the workforce will give further boost to our GDP and bring in social change.

On the social importance of skills, the Union Minister said: “Skill is not only an economic commodity, it is also a sociological concept. It encompasses aptitude, aspiration and emotion of the youth. Empowerment of our masses cannot happen without skilling, and we are working on to ensure this.” Describing Bhubaneswar as a progressive city of Eastern India, he said the capital city of Odisha is the epicentre of our demographic dividend.

Keeping a special focus on Odisha, the Minister unveiled a report “The Barunei Accord – Skill Development in Odisha: A Roadmap for Progressive Future.” The report projects incremental labour demand of 5.3 lakh (in 2018-19) in the state and potential to absorb around 77 per cent of the unemployed population through appropriate long term and short term skill training.

The report brings focus on significant youth population which can drive economic growth in the state and lays emphasis on skilling opportunities in Agriculture, Culture & Heritage, Rural and Tribal domains and identifies entrepreneurship model to generate employment.

It reiterates accelerating and scaling skill planning and deploying solutions such as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL), Apprenticeship and Counselling of youth.

The workshop also included a presentation on a study “The Future of Jobs 2018” prepared by World Economic Forum.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.