The present era of Globalisation and Liberalisation has underlined the importance of industrialisation along with availability of skilled and trained manpower. These ingredients are also important for a strong nation and for rapid economic development as these on one hand strengthen the employment and self employment sector while on other help in multifarious growth of economy.

Himachal Pradesh has immense potential for the development of small and cottage industry, agro-horti especially fruit and vegetable processing industry and industries based on locally available raw material. The tourism and service industry also has a vast scope of self employment avenues. The present State Government is laying added emphasis on skill development of youth so as to provide them better employment and self employment opportunities.

Better professional education coupled with skill enhancement can help in fetching best of the job opportunities. The problem of unemployment can also be tackled by developing skills of the youth in right direction and as per the demand of the industry. The State Government has launched Skill Development Scheme to attain these objectives. The scheme would benefit 83,000 youth this year and Rs. 500 crore would be spent on the scheme in 5 years.

Under Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, State Government is doing its best to provide more and more employment and self employment opportunities to the youth of the State. The Skill Development Scheme was announced in the first budget itself, so as to meet the demand of skilled manpower in the industry. The Scheme has been envisioned to enhance the employability of the youth especially, in ever growing private sector.

Under the Skill Development scheme eligible educated youth in the age group of 18-35 years would be provided Rs. 1000 per month as Skill Development Allowance for a period of 2 years. Persons with 50 percent or more disability would be provided this allowance at a rate of Rs. 1500 per month. A person should be Bonafide Himachali and unemployed to avail the benefits of this scheme and should have passed minimum 10th standard from any Board/University/Institution recognised by Himachal Government. Applicant must be registered with any employment exchange in the state as on date of application and his income from all sources should not exceed Rs. two lacs per annum. Applicant should be enrolled in any skill development course in the country. Eligible persons have to provide a self attested Performa regarding his being unemployed. The complete application forms could be submitted in the same employment exchange in which the name of the applicant has been registered.

Applicant has to submit one passport size photograph, attested copy of identity certificate of employment exchange, attested copy of family income certificate issued by executive magistrate, attested copy of Himachali domicile certificate, attested copy of admission certificate in skill development training institution, attested copy of metric certificate and self attested unemployment certificate in order to avail the skill development allowance.

The eligible unemployed youth would be provided this allowance for a period of two years. The State Government has decided that selected youth under the scheme could get skill development allowance for more than one course in the stipulated time of 24 months. If the applicant under the time frame of two years undergoes skill development training first for one year and then subsequent trainings for 6-6 months, he would be eligible to get this allowance for these courses also. This decision would benefit the beneficiaries in numerous ways.

State Government would also carry forward the promises made in manifesto which has been adopted as policy document of the State Government. For promoting Skill Training Programmes, Skill Training Centres would also be established in the State. A Skill Development Corporation would be started in the State. Skill Development Authority would also be constituted.

Recently, the Government of India has announced to establish a Regional Centre of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) for studies of Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) with a cost of Rs. 50 crore at Shimla. This Centre would facilitate the process of industrialisation in the state. A Rs. 17 crore Spice Park would also be set up at Nadaun in Hamirpur district. An extension centre of this park would be opened in Sirmour district for facilitating Ginger growers.

These initiatives of the State Government are bound to open new horizons for the youth of the State besides helping the State in achieving the objective of planned industrialization.

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