The Advantages of Skilling Programs as a CSR Activity
The Companies Act 2013 requires that CSR spending by corporates should be 2% of total profits (these are companies which have Rs. 500 crore minimum net worth, or Rs. 1000 crore turnover, or Rs. 5 crore net profit). It does not deliver commercial benefits to the company and works directly for the upliftment of the country through diverse programs of their choice. With this being mandatory, it is only natural that corporates are looking for suitable avenues in which to invest their funding. Today, almost every company has clearly defined objectives for CSR activities that are aligned with their corporate values.
However, is there a way that CSR activities could benefit not just the nation, but the company investing in it? Yes, there is, and that’s where skilling programs as a CSR activity comes into the picture!
What are skilling programs?
The Skill India Mission is a Government of India initiative that was launched in 2015, with the aim of training more than 500 million youth by the year 2022 in skillsets that are in demand by different industries.
Why are skilling programs important?
Did you know that, by 2020, 65% of India’s population will be below 35 years of age (1)? This is the prime working age group. It is important that each person’s potential is achieved while the national growth rate and developmental indices are improved. Are creating more jobs the solution to this? While that is certainly one part of the equation, the other side is the increasing unemployability of India’s youth, whether among graduates or unskilled workers (according to a National Sample Survey (2), out of the 470 million working age population in India, only 10% are trained in any skill or trade). So it is obvious that just creating jobs will not solve the employability issue-people have to be employable as well-and this is where skilling programs come in.
How do corporates benefit from investing in CSR skilling programs?
When companies get involved in skilling programs that the government is already conducting, they are better able to achieve their own long-term goals of getting a skilled workforce for many different roles within the industry. By partnering with skill development programs conducted by various private organizations, such as Sona Yukti, the corporate world is able to ensure that they will get trained and skilled human resources that meet their growing needs. This benefits not just the youth of the country, who are guaranteed to get trained in skills that are in demand by the industry, but also benefits the Indian economy by providing employment to the growing youth population. This is definitely a win-win scenario for all!
Sona Yukti is spread in key locations all over the country and conducts skill development programs in a wide variety of sectors, ranging from IT to textiles. Being a CSR initiative itself, of a reputed group of companies with a century-old legacy, Sona Yukti prides itself on not only conducting in-demand training programs with world-class facilities, but also conducting job fairs across the country that help link job seekers with the corporate world. By investing in Sona Yukti’s training programs as part of a CSR initiative, companies can rest assured that their investments will not only help the country, but also reward them hundredfold through the newly skilled and empowered workforce that will drive the company and country forward.
(1): (Planning Commission, XII Five Year Plan, Employment and Skill Development, pp 140-141)
(2): Ernst & Young, Knowledge paper on skill development in India