Social Transformation through Vocational Training
Unemployment is considered one of the most pressing issues of our time. With an unemployment rate of 5.20% and a population, 65% of which is below the age of 23, it is the youth of the country that bears the brunt of this problem. Unemployed youth become silent spectators in the development story of the country, watching from the side-lines as the country races towards new heights. At a societal level, this contributes to the ever-widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. At an individual level, it leaves the youth grappling with feelings of despair and depression.
However, recent studies suggest that the problem is not one of unemployment so much as it is of unemployability. While both, youth and jobs are available in great numbers, there exists a yawning gap between the requirements for a job and the qualifications of the youth. For over a decade, one NGO has been working tirelessly to bridge this gap, in the process churning out socially responsible, empowered individuals: Unnati.
Started in the year 2003, Unnati – an initiative of the SGBS Trust – was established with the primary aim of providing employment to underprivileged youth, thereby empowering an entire generation to pull itself out of the vicious cycle of poverty. Unnati offers holistic and intensive training for a host of vocations, including: retail and sales, administrative assistance, hotel guest care, office guest care, beautician courses and more. The curriculum is carefully planned to meet specific industry standards and requirements to ensure employability of the students. In addition to core vocational courses, basic computer skills, spoken English, life skills and value classes are made compulsory for all students, to aide in their all-round development.
Right from its inception, Unnati has maintained only one eligibility criteria for its programme: a willingness to learn. There is no minimum academic qualification required and Unnati opens its doors to all, regardless of gender, religion, caste or creed. Unnati’s Bangalore Centre even offers free food and accommodation for outsiders, as well as bus passes for students who live in the city.
Unnati has maintained a 100% placement record and every student who enrols is guaranteed a job at the end of the 50 day programme. That big organisations like TCS, First Source, ITC, IBM, St Marks Hotel and others have hired the 6000 students they have trained over the years, is testament to the quality and effectiveness of its programme.
The effectiveness of the programme has also made evident the great role Unnati can play in shaping the lives of the youth of the country. Unnati is fast expanding to different parts of the country with the hope of touching more youth and transforming their lives. With 16 operational centres, and plans for more than 20 centres in the coming year, Unnati is determined to eradicate unemployment in India, thereby guaranteeing a bright future for the youth of the country.