Vol. 2, Issue 1 (2017)
This paper reviews the current state of education, skills development, and employment for youth of Bihar, and considers the challenges facing Bihar’s skills development system. In Bihar, young people who will soon be entering the labor market constitute the largest segment of the demographic structure. The majority of young people have limited access to education and training, and most find work in the informal sector. As India moves progressively towards becoming a ‘Knowledge economy’ it becomes increasingly important that the government should focus on advancement of skills and these skills have to be relevant to the emerging economic environment. In old economy, skill development largely meant development of shop floor or manual skills. Even in this area there are major deficiencies in our work force which need to be rectified. In new or knowledge economy the skill sets can range from professional, conceptual, managerial, operational behavioral to interpersonal skills and inter-domain skills. This paper has been prepared at the concerned for the Government of Bihar. Despite the fact that Bihar has the fastest growth rate (17.06% in 2014-15) in India, difficulties have led the Government to conclude that far more needs to be done to engender more employment opportunities for the majority of people of Bihar, to enable them to participate in the benefits of growth and to contribute to that growth. To do this they must have education that equips them for the labor market. One of the sources of the skilled workforce is the vocational education. However, the government realizes that the system is not being able to appropriately respond to the needs of the labor market. A key issue, then, is what reforms or interventions are needed to improve the effectiveness of the system. Answering that question is far from easy and this paper attempts to provide some options for doing so. On the one hand Bihar faces the future with its changing realities (Globalization, competitiveness and the knowledge economy), on the other hand it must deal with the nature of its established traditions and structures. In this paper I am looking for, skills development for employability, which stresses practical, technical and vocational, rather than largely academic knowledge, skills and understandings shall be referred to as technical and vocational education. Over time, and in different states, various terms have been and are being used to describing elements of the field that are now conceived as comprising technical and vocational education. These include apprenticeship, training, vocational education, industrial arts, technical education, technological-vocational education, occupational education, vocational education and training and career and technical education. But other aspects should change if people are to move out of poverty. Over half of the labour force is still engaged in rural activities. Although there has been a significant movement away from agriculture this has still left most of the labour force, over 90 percent, working in the informal sector, much of it at low levels of productivity.
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