Himachal gets new skills centre to train youth

Nahan, Sep 18 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Wednesday opened the state's first Centre of Excellence for Skill Development in this town. The institute will train young people for the world of work, an official statement said.

In the current year, the institute, set up under the state's Skill Development Scheme, will benefit 83,000 youth.

Constructed at a cost of Rs.1.21 crore, the institute was set up in the public-private-partnership mode by the department of technical education under a joint venture with the National Skill Development Council of the government of India and the private Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Skill Development Corporation Ltd., an official statement said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said the government was laying special emphasis on skill development of youth so as to provide them better employment and self-employment opportunities.

He said that under the skill development scheme, the government aims to benefit 83,000 youth this year. It is also expected that the scheme will see a spend of Rs.500 crore in the next five years.

Eligible educated youth in the 18-35 years age group will be provided Rs.1,000 per month as skill development allowance for two years.

People with 50 percent disability or more will get an allowance of Rs.1,500 per month.

Any unemployed bona fide Himachali, who has passed the matriculation examination, can avail of benefits under the scheme, provided his or her name is registered with the employment exchange in the state on the date of application.

Besides, his or her income from all sources should not exceed Rs.200,000 per annum.

The state has immense potential for the development of small and cottage industries, particularly agro-horticulture-based fruit and vegetable processing, and other units based on locally available raw material.

It also has a vast scope of employment generation in tourism and service sectors, for which skill development programmes will be of great help.

Singh said the Centre of Excellence for Skill Development would provide specialised training in hospitality, tourism and catering.

Technical Education Minister G.S. Bali said three more such centres of excellence for skill development would be opened in the state with a view to give impetus to the professional courses.

He said professional training would be provided to 50,000 students in the next four years.

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