Globally persons with disabilities constitute about 15 percent of the total population and at least 785 million of them are of working age. Presence of such huge number of working age disabled persons can have serious consequences for growth and development of a country if specific skills and talents of disabled persons, particularly of the youth with disabilities, are not channelized and properly utilized in the labour market. International Labour Organization estimates that the annual loss of global gross domestic product (GDP) due to the exclusion of persons with disabilities from the labour market is over 1 trillion US dollars. For developing countries, there is a particularly greater need to make use of their huge number of working aged disabled persons to productive use in order to increase national growth and economic development. Increasing employment levels of disabled people has an overall positive impact on both the amount of goods and services the economy can produce and the demand for these goods and services. Greater participation of people with disabilities in training, education and employment directly affects the productive capacity of the nation. Most importantly, employment experiences and skill development among youth with disabilities can offer many benefits to them such as improved physical, social, psychological and financial well-being.
According to census 2011, there are 2.68 Crore Persons with Disability (PwDs) in India. About 1.34 crores persons with disabilities are in the employable age of 15 to 59 years.People with disabilities need skills to engage in livelihood activities. Different types of skills are required for successful work. They include foundation skills acquired through education and family life, technical and professional skills which enable a person to undertake a particular activity or task, business skills required to succeed in self-employment and core life skills, including attitudes, knowledge and personal attributes. According to the Census 2011, about 1.34 crores persons with disabilities are in the employable age of 15 to 59 years. About 99 lakh persons with disabilities in the employable age group were non-workers or are marginal workers.There is urgent need to scale up the skill training infrastructure in view of the huge demand- supply gap.
Financial independence of persons with disabilities is indispensable for their self-esteem and dignity and employment opportunities (including self-employment) are important tools for providing financial securities and independence for persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities, in fact, have their own specific skills, talent and capabilities and if these are tapped properly they can make significant contribution in a country’s economic development. Employment provides livelihood opportunities and self-reliance for persons with disabilities. However, it is a matter of concern that India has a significant number of disabled persons who are in the employable age of 15 to 59 years but most of them are either unskilled or unemployable. Their potential to contribute to national growth and development has largely been ignored and remained un-tapped.
The existing Skill Training Organisations for PwDs are National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). Vocational training courses offered by National Institutes of Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and its affiliate organisations like National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC), National Trust etc. Ministry of Labour and Employment supervising more than 20 Vocational Rehabilitation Centres for Handicapped(VRCHs), more than 10,000 ITIs and more than 1000 Employment Exchanges. · Technical and Vocational courses, being offered through Community colleges, IITs and Universities, affiliated with Ministry of Human Resources Development. NGOs focusing on vocational training and skill development. Private sector training organizations: Under the CSR initiative, many organizations have done exemplary work. · Public Sector Undertakings have also contributed substantially to vocational training of persons with disability.National Rural Livelihood Mission of Ministry of Rural Development.National Urban Livelihood Mission of Ministry of Urban Development. Vocational training / livelihood programs of other Central Govt. Ministries and State Governments
Skill training offered by various ministries/departments to the PwDs were fragmented or overlapping.Skill Council for Persons with Disabilities SCPwD has set Quality Standards of Skill Development training for persons with disabilities and devised interventions that have ensured the employment oriented skill development training. Skill Council for Persons with Disabilities SCPwD is mapping various jobs that persons with disabilities of different degrees can perform. It is also involved in activities like audits for training centers, training of trainers, training of assessors, assessment and certification of trainees. Skill Council for Persons with Disabilities SCPwD has been facilitating the establishment of In-house Training Centers and Centers of Excellence
Persons with disability in India face many challenges when looking to develop employable skills and in gaining meaningful employment. Improving vocational training and employment opportunities for people with disability is a critical element for enhancing the quality of life for individual with disability, their families, but there are also substantial gains for the broader economy. There are substantial costs to individuals and to society associated with these poor employment outcomes for people with disability. The World Bank considers that leaving people with disability, outside the economy, translates into a foregone GDP of about 5% to 7%.
Skill Council for Persons with Disabilities SCPwD was incorporated on 1st October 2015, jointly by The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) under the aegis of Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship. It is an organization that focuses on setting standards and arranging industry relevant skill training for persons with disabilities. Skill development training for persons with disabilities (PwD) not only enables them to enhance their standard of living but also boosts their self confidence and make them self dependent individuals.
Dr. Rumi Ahmed