Ministry of Labour & Employment, Government of India launched Modular Employable Skills (MES) under Skill Development Initiative (SDI) Scheme through Directorate General of Employment & Training in May 2007. Under this scheme, training to earlier school leavers and existing workers especially in un-organized sectors are to be trained for employable skills. The scheme was operationalized since 2007 in close consultation with industries/State Government and expertise. A majority of Indian workforce does not possess marketable skills which is an impediment in getting decent employment and improving their economic condition. While India has large young population, only 5% of the Indian labor force in the age group of 20-24 years has obtained vocational skills through formal means whereas the percentage in industrialized countries varies between 60% and 96%. About 63% of the school students drop out at different stages before reaching Class X. Only about 2.5 million vocational training seats are available in the country whereas about 12.8 million persons enter the labor market every year. Even out of these training places, very few are available for early school dropouts. This signifies that a large number of school drop outs do not have access to skill development for improving their employability. The educational entry requirements and long duration of courses of the formal training system are some of the impediments for a person of low educational attainment to acquire skills for his livelihood. Further, the largest share of new jobs in India is likely to come from the unorganized sector that employs up to 93 per cent of the national workforce, but most of the training programs cater to the needs of the organized sector.
Objectives of the scheme are:
- To provide vocational training to school leavers, existing workers, ITI graduates, etc. to improve their employability by optimally utilizing the infrastructure available in Government, private institutions and the Industry.
- Existing skills of the persons can also be tested and certified under this scheme.
- To build capacity in the area of development of competency standards, course curriculam, learning material and assessment standards in the country.