Launch of ‘ASCENT’ to support quality vocational training amongst youth in India

New Delhi, India | 30 March 2022: Tech Mahindra (TML), a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting, and business re-engineering services and solutions, has launched the ‘Alliance for Skill & Capacity ENhancement with Technology (ASCENT)’, to support quality vocational training and enhance employability amongst youth in India. The project is carried out in collaboration with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH within the framework of the develoPPP programme, which GIZ implements on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project implementation on the ground will be supported by Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF).

ASCENT aims to train 10,000 urban youth in the allied sectors of Healthcare, Logistics and Digital Technologies based on the German Dual Vocational Educational Training (DVET) model to make them job ready as per the specific industry requirements. The project foresees sustainable linkages with the industry through outreach, advocacy, placement aggregation, and job portal development (specifically for the healthcare sector).

CP Gurnani, MD & CEO, Tech Mahindra, stated: “India currently has one of the world’s largest talent base and sharpening focus on enhancing skills in new age technologies will expedite achieving the dream of India becoming a Five Trillion Dollar economy by 2025. Our collaboration with GIZ and Tech Mahindra Foundation is a significant step towards creating a skilling and knowledge ecosystem. We believe this will enable us to bridge the skill gap and provide the next generation of the workforce the opportunity to build a better, sustainable future for themselves and the global economy.”

Dr Julie Reviere, Country Director, GIZ India, stated: “The German model shows the importance of private sector involvement – indeed, leadership – in developing a skilled workforce. India has tremendous potential that can be realised through state-of-the-art skilling, which is targeting the needs of the private sector and utilising the resources of both the government and the private sector. This project builds on India’s strong IT ecosphere and applies it to the country’s broader skilling needs. The results will have impact for years to come.”

The partnership aims to further strengthen Tech Mahindra’s focus towards reskilling and upskilling of the workforce based on relevant digital skillsets, in sync with current and future industry requirements. The collaboration aims to leverage Tech Mahinda’s sector and technology expertise with GIZ’s private and public sector network, to create a skilling ecosystem supplemented by a repository of knowledge that can benefit the industry and partner ecosystem.

Dr Rodney Reviere, Head of GIZ’s skilling portfolio in India, stated: “GIZ is extremely pleased to be able to work with Tech Mahindra on such an exciting and innovative project. The pandemic has starkly revealed the current limitations to online skilling approaches, methodologies, and technologies. Together with Tech Mahindra, this project will pilot new approaches that can help students learn more actively and thereby be better prepared for a productive future.”

Rakesh Soni, Chief Executive Officer, Tech Mahindra Foundation (TMF), stated: “In tune with the larger mandate of the Government of India’s Skill India Mission, we have been working in the area of employability through our SMART programme. An association with an organisation like GIZ will further strengthen our efforts in establishing a robust vocational education training ecosystem as part of our work across the country.”

It will create a pool of trainers with improved pedagogy and technical training that will contribute to the overall ecosystem as well as enhance the teaching learning experience of participants by employing technological interventions including Augmented Reality/ Virtual Reality (AR/VR) curriculum as well as self-paced learning content. The project will further initiate collaboration with the Directorate General of Trade (DGT), which is responsible for managing the public vocational training system through the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in India, to train selected ITI trainers and provide them access to e-content developed under the project for various courses.

This project also foresees the development of robust monitoring and reporting framework as well as knowledge dissemination during and after the completion of the project. It also aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically SDG 8 of ‘Decent work and economic growth’, SDG 3 of ‘Good Health and Well-being’, SDG 4 of ‘Quality Education’, SDG 10 of ‘Reduced Inequalities’ and SDG 17 of ‘Partnerships for the Goals’.