Youth Skills Day – Empowering Our Future

Written by Khushee Wasnik, (Intern, UPAY)

15th July was declared as World Youth Skills Day by the United Nations General Assembly back in 2014. This day was conceived to celebrate the importance of equipping our youth with technical and vocational skills. In the 21st century, these skills empower individuals to successfully navigate the workforce while contributing to local and global economies. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created setbacks to the livelihood of many. More than 1 in 6 young people are out of work. Now more than ever, it is necessary to be equipped with the skills needed to manage upcoming challenges and be resilient in the face of future disruptions. Within this global context, the 7th World Youth Skills Day’s theme is Reimagining Youth skills post-pandemic.

Developing Computing Skills at UPAY

A couple of months before the pandemic had hit us, children at UPAY had asked for a class that taught computing skills. Our children understood the importance of computing skills in a rapidly digitising world. The UPAY team in Banglore, headed by Harsha Rani, was happy to see their initiative. They were more than happy to oblige.  

When the lockdowns were implemented across the nation, these classes had to be discontinued. However, this is when the need for everyone- the young and old, to know at least the basics of computers became eminent. So we resumed the sessions virtually. 

youth skills day , upay ngo

Those of us equipped with computing skills have already had more than enough of the virtual world. Most of us are just itching to go back to the way things were. We can only imagine the frustration the students might feel about learning computer skills virtually. Yet, the students look forward to every class and every session with excitement, ready to tackle the next obstacle. They never want to miss a session. It goes to show their sincerity, hard work and willingness to learn.

The computer classes are being held in the Bangalore centre of UPAY holds one batch of 10-12 students who attend the classes in two sessions. It is done to give each student the time and attention they deserve. Each batch runs for three months. They are taught to navigate their way through computer software that is in demand in the workforce. The students are usually in the age group of 14-20, but the classes also include homemakers who want to contribute to their household income. 

The UPAY team also extends its support to ensure the students have the necessary equipment. The students who do not have access to a desktop are free to use the available PCs at the centres. The centre coordinators also ensure that the student’s need for in-person sessions is met. So far, we have been able to extend this course to around 25 students.

UPAY has long ago realised the need for skill development among the underprivileged masses.

Samarth Skill Development Center

We have made numerous efforts to develop certain skills among the members of our communities. The Samarth skill development centre is one such initiative. It is a part of the Nagpur, Gurugram, Delhi and Bangalore centres of UPAY. It specifically looks after the skill-building initiative taken up by the centres. 

Computer classes are just one of the many courses. The recently begun English classes open them up to multiple opportunities that knowing the English language brings forward for them. Sewing and embroidery are other skills you will see taught at all Samarth centres of UPAY. These are aimed at young women to give them an opportunity at a steady job and a stable source of income. Amidst the pandemic, it allowed many women to have a steady income by producing masks for the public.

youth skills dsy banglore upay ngo

Sewing and embroidery are other skills you will see taught at all Samarth centres of UPAY. These are aimed at young women to give them an opportunity at a steady job and a stable source of income. Amidst the pandemic, it allowed many women to have a steady income by producing masks for the public.

Reimagining Skills Post Pandemic

The world is dynamic. Needs are constantly changing. So are the skills required to meet those needs. While it’s easier for the mainstream workforce to meet those needs, there are those under-privileged who cannot. UPAY will be right here to help those we can to bridge that gap. 

We believe it’s fair to say we are off to a good start to reimagine youth skills for a post-pandemic world.

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