Skill Development Scheme is proving fruitful in the Himachal Pradesh. Started in May 2013, over 1,10,601 youth have been benefited from the scheme and an amount of Rs. 74,01,23,354 allowance had also been paid to the beneficiaries.

Skill Development Scheme was started to provide skilled manpower to industrial units, institutions and establishments coming up in the State. Under this Scheme, an allowance of Rs. 1000 per month for youth doing skill training and Rs. 1500 per month for 50 percent permanently physically disabled, is being provided for duration of training, subject to maximum two years.

Any unemployed bonafide Himachali between the age group of 16 to 36 years with family income of less than Rs 2 lakh per annum can avail the benefit of this scheme. The beneficiary should have minimum qualification of 8th pass, but for the applicants desirous to pursue training in masony, carpentry, blacksmithy or plumbing, the condition of minimum qualification has been done away with, so as to benefit maximum number of youth

In order to put check on those training operators with inadequate infrastructure, the State Government has approved guidelines of ensuring quality training to the beneficiaries. District Level committees have been constituted under the Chairmanship of respective Deputy Commissioners in all districts to empanel non-IT private training institutions. At present certificate/diploma training is being run by about 909 training institutions. Out of these institutions, 350 are Government institutions, 355 Government recognized private training institutions and 204 are training institutions empanelled by District level Committees.

The scheme covers all trades of ITIs, Polytechnics, National Skill Qualification Framework, National Council for Vocational Training, State Council for Vocational Training, Diploma/Certificate courses in Hotel Management given by Hotel Management Institutes recognized by Government Entity/National Council of Hotel Management and other Government approved courses. Apart from it, IT/Computer certificate/diploma courses imparted by Government recognized Universities, Training Institute authorized by Government/its entity and diploma/certificate training courses run by training institutions of national level i.e NIIT, Aptech, AISECT, Hindustan Computers Ltd., Computer Maintenance Corporation Ltd., and Jetking etc.

In addition, training imparted by training institutions empaneled by District Level Committees in the field of fashion designing, beautician, cutting and tailoring, embroidery, knitting, soft toy making, mobile repair, forest based micro entrepreneurship like bamboo basket, stone sculpture and handloom etc., which helps the youth to start their self-employment venture are also covered under the scheme.

Keeping in view high employability in nursing, apart from Diploma/Certificate Training, B.Sc Nursing/any graduate degree course in Nursing from Government or Government affiliated training institution has been covered under the scheme w.e.f April, 2015.

A Skill Development Corporation has been established in the State to effectively implement skill development programmes. A Skill Development Institute is coming up at Haroli in Una district with an estimated cost of Rs 18 crore. The State Government is contemplating to open such institutions in all the districts of the State in phased manner. Training in these institutions would be provided to the unemployed youth as per the skill gap requirements of industrial units resulting in 100 per cent placements of such trainees.

To provide better opportunities of employment to the youth, the Government is tying up with the Industrial Associations to meet out their skilled manpower requirement. Accordingly, to bridge the gap and need of industries, necessary steps to bring new courses under the Scheme are being taken.

The State Government is focusing on Career Counselling services to the youth of Himachal Pradesh. For this, the Government is converting 10 District Level Employment Exchanges into Model Career Centres with the help of Asian Development Bank, for which Rs 31.70 crore has been allocated. The State would be the pioneer State in the country to modernize its employment exchanges. These Model Career Centres would provide services of career counselling to schools, colleges, vocational training institutions in the State. Guidance regarding skill development trainings and its importance in the context of present competitive world would also be imparted during the career counselling.