Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim
Cameraperson: Akanksha Kumar
Nineteen-year-old Suraj Singh, a resident of Kirari in north west Delhi sounds dejected while talking about his new job.
Despite completing a four-month course in retail under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Suraj is working as a labourer at a jeans factory. The certificate after completing the course as part of the centre’s ambitious scheme on skill-training couldn’t help him get a job of his choice.
It feels strange because the factory where I’m working has employed people who are mostly illiterate, who are not skilled or even studied as much as I have. After passing class 12, I’m now pursuing BA and have completed a course in retail, yet my profile is that of a labourer.Suraj Singh, Certified Student, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
Struggle for White Collar Jobs
Suraj is the eldest among four siblings and is compelled to do a job to make ends meet. With his father is working as a driver, a monthly salary of Rs 8,000 that Suraj gets helps the family cope with monthly expenses. Why did the decision to pursue a course under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra backfire?
Suraj is not the only one disillusioned with the govt-run scheme that plans to train 40 crore youth by 2022. Twenty-one-year-old Sushma had to borrow formals from someone before appearing for an interview at a private firm in Noida. Though the interaction went well, Sushma failed to understand why she didn’t hear back from the recruiting firm. Then, an insurance company came with an offer of Rs 5,000. This wasn’t what Sushma had aspired for:
At an insurance company, I was offered a monthly salary of Rs 5,000. I told them about the course under PMKVY. If this certificate is considered, then our salary should be at least Rs 12,000. I was told that for us you are a fresher and so I won’t get above Rs 5,000.Sushma, Certified Student, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana
The placement guidelines by the NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation) state:
Candidate shall be placed in jobs that provide wages at least equivalent to or above the minimum wages prescribed as per Minimum Wage Act.
But very few private firms in Delhi offer minimum wages, which comes to around Rs 16,000 for skilled workers.
‘Kaushal Kendra’ On the Verge of Shutdown
Somlata, in-charge of the Pratigya Skill Development Centre, is anxious about her future. After few staff members were asked to leave, Somlata fears what might be in store for her. Pratigya Skill Development Centre had launched courses under PMKVY in 2017. Around 250 students have been enrolled in nine batches since July last year.
Somlata claims that though the Kaushal Kendra was able to facilitate the placement of more than 50 percent of students, they are not able to show the same to the government on paper.
Mostly, the employers don’t issue monthly salary slips since salary is given in cash. It’s difficult to give proof of any transaction in such cases. That’s why we are not able to upload salary-related details.Somlata, In-charge, Pratigya Development Centre
As a result, the official website of PMKVY has estimated the placement record for Pratigya Skill Development Centre to be 27 percent. Since grants for the scheme are disbursed only after a training centre has attained the 50 percent placement mark, Pratigya Skill Development Centre might soon be excluded from the list of kaushal kendras in Delhi.
Low placement rate, meagre salaries and training centres struggling to comply with placement norms, the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana seems to be riddled with several such bottlenecks. For people like Suraj and Sushma, acche din are still a few years away as they hope for a job that offers decent pay.