Launched in 2011 by Wadhwani Foundation, Skills Development Network (SDN) aims to revolutionize skill development by leveraging technology and program management of Government initiatives to create millions of skilled manpower.
Government of India aims to impart skill training to 500 million people by 2022. To realize such scale, effective use of technology for a learner centric, multi-media and online curriculum, and skill training needs to be mainstreamed into school and higher education system. SDN is implementing this twin-pronged strategy in schools, community colleges and industry to enable scale, quality and consistency for high-demand, entry and middle level jobs.
Over the next 5 years, the Foundation aims to train and place 25 million individuals in high demand entry-level mid-skills jobs . The Foundation will achieve this through modern, multimedia technology leveraging existing colleges and ITIs, with a special focus on priority sectors and regions identified by the government.
School Vocational Education
Targeted at secondary schools, this program in partnership with State Governments and aligned with National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), teaches skills based courses to students of classes IX to XII as an integral part of their curriculum, in specific industry segments like Retail, IT/ITeS, Security, Automotive Servicing, Beauty & Wellness, Physical Education & Sports, Tourism and Patient Care.
With Wadhwani Foundation as a ‘Program Manager’ and ‘Knowledge Partner’, the program was launched in September 2012 in Haryana and has been a big success with 560 vocational teachers and over 25,000 students enrolled in 240 government schools across 21 districts. Since then, it has also been launched in Himachal Pradesh with 24,000 students and 400 teachers across 200 schools. The program is soon to be launched in Uttarakhand with 44 schools, 88 teachers and 2,200 students to begin with.
With an aim to mainstream skills into higher education and facilitating vertical mobility for students aspiring to pursue a degree program through 6 -24 months duration programs, SDN has worked closely with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), drafting a community college scheme with MHRD/UGC and hosting committee of state education ministers to U.S Community Colleges for establishing Community Colleges. This led to a MHRD funded pilot of 200 Community Colleges. In addition UGC has funded 103 Community Colleges and 127 Colleges for B.Voc.
Wadhwani Foundation’s SDN has partnered with Aryabhatta Knowledge University (AKU), Patna to support 15 pilot community colleges in Bihar as a program management and knowledge partner for successful implementation of this pilot and imparting industry specific courses for local job market.
Wadhwani Foundation has forged strategic partnerships with Narayana Health & Association of Healthcare Providers of India- AHPI (Healthcare), The Zuri Hotels (Hospitality) & Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company Limited -ABCTCL (F&B Retail Service). These direct industry partnerships enable development of job driven curriculum & technology based multi-media content to effectively train and skill employees, replacing the internal induction and ongoing training in these institutions, and later throughout the industry.
The Foundation is now looking at similar partnerships with Industry in sectors like Retail, Automotive, Banking, Beauty & Wellness etc, wherein it will collaborate as a development partner in technology enabled curriculum & courseware while Industry will play the role of domain partner.
Partnership with Narayana Health has resulted in a successful ‘game changing’ pilot healthcare training program using ground-breaking learning techniques to train medical support staff. Aiming to fill the void of critical skills needed in the healthcare industry that are currently missing from formal and informal nursing education programs, a transformational learner centric (video, game and simulation based) and massively scalable skill training program has been introduced across 20 Narayana Health Centers in India.Read more
Wadhwani Foundation has worked closely with practitioners at Narayana Health to identify critical nursing and patient care skills, job needs, required training processes, as well as curriculum and generic content. The Foundation’s instructional design team restructured course content to leverage experiential, peer-driven, interactive, easily accessible, and 360 degree learner-centric pedagogies. Over 1700 support staff of Narayana Health (including nurses) have already undergone this training program.
Wadhwani Foundation has begun to roll out its healthcare curriculum to other healthcare providers. The roadmap also includes deployment of Narayana Health’s internal training in feeder and community colleges/ and other training providers. The Foundation is working towards making the courseware a part of the national school and college curriculum through the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).
THE ZURI HOTELS
The Wadhwani Foundation has partnered with The Zuri Hotels-TZH to address the issue of shortage of hospitality workers by enrolling students who have passed higher secondary school. Such students, with appropriate experiential training, can be transformed into responsible entry-level hospitality workers (like Front Office Assistants / Reservation Assistants / Customer Care Associates) who can work under supervision of qualified managers to significantly alleviate their load.Read more
Both Wadhwani Foundation and TZH are collaborating in developing technology enabled curriculum and courseware in the form of a job-driven short cycle education program. TZH is the domain partner in this program – the definer and validator of requirements, provider of facilities and experts to demonstrate procedures and beneficiary of the training courseware while The Foundation is the Development Partner, and is designing and developing the program working with TZH to meet the specified needs and validate it with TZH. In this process, Wadhwani Foundation is the facilitator, providing support for initial curriculum, teacher training and technology.
AHPI (Association of Healthcare Providers of India)
Wadhwani Foundation’s Skill Development Network (SDN) and Narayana Health (NH) have entered into a MoU with The Association of Health Providers of India (AHPI) to share the co-developed nursing training eModules / learner-centric courses across AHPI’s network of 10000+ hospitals and healthcare providers to upgrade the technical and soft skills of their new and existing nursing staff. This will vastly improve the quality of patient care. In addition to promoting and rolling out this initiative, AHPI will also create certifications for demonstrated skills across member institution employees.Read more
These training eModules / learner-centric courses will be available online to all the member institutions who wish to register through a link on the AHPI website. Information will be disseminated through AHPI newsletters and websites to their members. In addition, focused information sessions will be held in AHPI chapters throughout India as well as their annual Global Conclave in February 2015 in Hyderabad.
Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company Ltd. (Café Coffee Day)
Wadhwani Foundation’s Skills Development Network (SDN) has entered into a partnership with Café Coffee Day (CCD), a division of Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company Ltd. (ABCTCL) to collaborate and develop technology-enabled curriculum, courses and training programmes for interested individuals who seek to enter the Food and Beverage Retail Service industry (including the trainees & employees of CCD and its affiliates). The SDN-CCD partnership will focus on skill training to the higher secondary school graduates to transform them into responsible entry level support workers who could also be employed by CCD on successful completion of the course in positions like Café Chain Operators. The training will also be given to the existing staff/employees of CCD to equip them with latest skills for better productivity.Read more
CCD will provide the sector domain IP of Food & Beverage Retail Service by identifying high-demand job profiles requiring trained workers, providing details regarding the skills and occupational standards/competencies that need to be taught to candidates and making available experts/instructors . On the other hand, SDN will the development partner focusing on technology enabled, learner centric, multi-media based online curriculum & courseware, and teacher training, program management, system setup technical helpline and project implementation templates. A key advantage of electronic curriculum is the high quality, and uniform and standardized content delivery that allows for a rapid national scale-up with minimum reliance on instructor’s personal knowledge.
Dusters Total Solutions Services Pvt. Ltd (DTSS)
Wadhwani Foundation and Dusters Total Solutions Services Pvt. Ltd. have entered into a MoU wherein Wadhwani Foundation will develop technology-enabled curriculum, courses and training programmes for interested individuals who seek to enter the Facility Management industry including the students/staff/employees of DTSS . Dusters Total Solutions Services Pvt. Ltd will identify high-demand job profiles requiring trained workers, and provide details regarding the skills and occupational standards/competencies that need to be taught to candidates, train its employees and student communities with job specific skills to increase the overall employability pool of skilled workers for the Facility Management Industry and the necessary infrastructure.
SDN’s e-learning program is a next generation, open access technology solution to transform student learning and teacher training as traditional skill-generating methods will not be enough to mobilize skill-sets required to harness India’s demographic dividend.
The programme supercharges the traditional way of doing vocational training using textbooks and labs by flipping the classical classroom education into learner-centric engagement models like videos, games and simulations, interactive learning, digital assessments and peer cum blended learning.
These learner-centric models will enable massive deployment through an anytime, anywhere technology platform creating Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) for jobs in the form of modular online content
for bridging the gap between the skills acquired in high schools and community colleges, and those required by the industry. A key advantage of using these models is the high quality, uniform and standardized content delivery that allows for a rapid national scale-up and empowerment of the learner (with teacher only as a facilitator).
Powerful e-learning courses for job readiness can be accessed at Wadhwani Foundation’s Skill Development portal www.wfskillscollege.org which allows free and anywhere, anytime access to cutting edge e-learning modules applicable to students, teachers, institutions and industry. With learner-centric, videos, games, simulations, digital assessments and peer activities being its prime focus, the portal facilitates industry and NVEQF based competency development.
Rupali, Trainer – Retail Management, Govt. Girls Senior Secondary School, Chamba
Mehwash Siddiqui, Project Coordinator, Empower Pragati Vocational & Stafﬁng Pvt. Ltd.
Atul, XI Std., Govt. Senior Secondary School, Sunni, Shimla