Skill Development, Employment and Entrepreneurship

Skill Development

The COVID-19 pandemic and other natural disasters during this last year, have once again highlighted the need to focus on adequate and disaster resilient housing within the Right to Adequate Housing Framework. 

With the increased need to quarantine/isolate, maintain physical distancing, inability to pay for housing due to financial distress, COVID-19 has impacted the capacity and experience in homes.

Adding to the mix, natural disasters compound the impact on populations by directly causing the collapse of the housing structures as well as adversely impacting the lives and livelihoods of the victims. Therefore, in order to recover from the current disaster situation, there was a need to focus on building back better along with enhancing mitigation policies programs on disaster preparedness. 

Within the given context, a focus on ensuring safe, adequate and resilient housing and basic services is the foundation on which households can build their long-term stability and security. Hence the Thematic 1 on Housing and Basic Services has been designed to strategically intervene in the following sub areas through a habitat rights based lens:

  • Housing in disasters
  • Shelter and Camps
  • Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)  

Furthermore, within each sub group, targeted interventions, research and advocacy campaigns can be initiated in order to further the overall thematic agenda. Some of the examples of activities and the targeted population groups include:

  • Habitat rights (low income urban, rural & tribal communities, transgenders, women, PWDs, elderly, migrants, homeless etc.)
  • Shelters and camps for vulnerable populations (homeless, elderly, PWDs, transgender, women, children etc.)
  • Prevention of forced evictions
  • Disaster Resilient Housing (low income urban, rural & tribal communities)
  • Facilitating basic services and facilities (WASH). The focus here is on WASH during DRR and as a minimum requirement.
  • Research and advocacy in any of the above

Broadly employment allows for self-sufficiency and subsequent economic growth of an individual and eventually the country. However, unemployment rates continue to be a significant problem in terms of elevated overall percentages of the general population.

The pandemic has impacted the employment situation in India, wherein almost all the commercial establishments, industrial units, transport systems, school colleges, even government offices except emergency services, were under lockdown. 

The unemployment rate was around 12% at the end of May 2021 which translates into a loss of jobs by 1 crore people during the period due to the 2nd wave of corona pandemic. Income of 97% households have declined since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. The unemployment rate stands at 12.4%, urban 15.1% and rural 11.2% on 3rd June 2021. 

The Skill Development and Employment thematic plays a key role in

 (i) Building and sharing knowledge for accelerating policy initiatives for making Indian youth and workforce employable.

(ii) Identifying as well as offering solutions to critical issues concerning employment, jobs and livelihood creation.

Some of the suggestive measures for Maha PECOnet to undertake increase employment in collaboration with Skilling are:

  1. Improve in visibility of the trained workforce
  2. Establish connectivity between the 2 parties to ensure opportunity for employment
  3. Invest in creating a system to close the cycle between the unemployed groups and employers

Sustainable economic development is at the top of the political agenda in India. The need of the hour is creation of a strong eco-system through active participation by the private sector, public sector, Government and academic community.

With a population of more than 1 billion people and witnessing trends of entrepreneurship in various capacities, the GDP per capita is still at $1,900 USD per year. This is a stark reminder of the vast gap in income equality which correlated with economic losses. Data by Start-up India shows that only 13.76 % of the total entrepreneurs in India are women, which is close to merely 8 million as opposed to a whopping 50 Million male entrepreneurs. 

Empirical data:

  • Women owned enterprises constitute only 7.35% including both the sectors. Women entrepreneurs face barriers to scale than male entrepreneurs in both informal manufacturing and service sectors.
  • Lack of social entrepreneurship knowledge presents a major challenge for social enterprises in finding competent and skilled promoters.
  • Social enterprises face hostile reaction from financial institutions and Governments as far as funding is concerned.
  • Cooperation between industry, the academic community and government bodies remains weak, thus hampering the innovative capacity and sustainability of MSMEs (including social enterprises and start-ups)
  • There is a huge untapped business potential in the environment sector. (CII Green Business centre). Lack of a strong support system to experiment with green ideas and test piloting.
  • The Sustainable Development Goals and MSMEs agendas are mutually reinforcing but lack processes and mechanisms for inter-linkage; Cooperation with research and technology institutions or with academic establishments is virtually non-existent. 

As a platform that works on equal rights, dignity and service, upliftment of the vulnerable, Maha PECOnet has a lot of areas to focus for Entrepreneurship facilitation and Engagement with forward linkages. Some of these are: 

  • Scope to play a big role in growing the rural sector in the future presenting opportunities to study and support factors, like fair trade, that will shape the social entrepreneurship philosophy. 
  • A network approach to influence Government to provide lucrative schemes and opportunities
  • Assisting higher education institutes in developing social entrepreneurship curriculum, provide social enterprises with access to good quality managers and promoters
  • Government giving large push to women entrepreneurs through schemes, need support on end to end linkages 
  • Change in consumer buying pattern on the basis of eco-friendly or green product indicates there is a space creation for the green entrepreneurship

Thematic Partners

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