October 2014 | Cynthia Rodrigues

How to catch a fish

Skilling initiatives from the Tata group aim to help youngsters around the world become employable

Employability is a growing challenge around the world. The great skilling divide is particularly wide in India. Two-thirds of India’s population is under 35 years of age, with a large percentage either unskilled or under-skilled. In the coming decade, about 140 million young people, completely bereft of any vocational skills, are expected to join the industry. On the other side, Indian industry is grappling with the problem of lack of talent and inadequately skilled manpower, which impacts negatively on growth.

The Government of India, aware of the impending crisis, intends to empower 500 million people with the required skills by 2022. “Skills development is one of the highest national priorities...,” says S Ramadorai, former vice chairman of Tata Consultancy Services, who is also chairman of the National Skills Development Corporation, and an advisor to the prime minister on skills development. It is clear that a structured and comprehensive skills development programme has the potential to empower this vast demographic of people and make a substantial difference to the lives of thousands over the next few decades. The Tata group is doing its bit to bridge the divide by enabling a global skilling initiative to empower the youth.

Tata Strive is a group-wide, centrally-coordinated programme that aims to develop employability, entrepreneurship and enterprise capabilities in youth through training. The Tata Trusts are also in a unique position to contribute to this endeavour, given their presence across India, their decades of experience in partnering with non-government organisations to build livelihoods and the ecosystem that they have built and sustained.

The Tata skills building initiative spans nations. The group is leveraging the wealth of its intellectual capital and resource base to make an impactful contribution in skill development in North America, Europe, China, Africa and the Asean (Association of South East Asian Nations) region. In each region, Tata is responding with initiatives that are targeted to meet local needs. In India, Tata companies train over 60,000 students every year in trades related to their core business, either through internal training facilities, or through tie-ups with nonprofits and government-run industrial training institutes (ITI). In the United States of America, Tata companies are active in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiative that aims to encourage interest in science and technology fields. The TCS China University is partnering 25 universities to make students workplace-ready.

In Europe, Tata companies have funded 125,000 training courses, more than 100 degrees and over 400 university scholarships. Companies also offered 150 apprenticeships and over 750 internships to young people across the UK.

Dr Mukund Rajan, brand custodian and chief ethics officer, Tata Sons, and member of the Group Executive Council, explains the group’s collaborative approach: “We must try and create a sustainable impact. The scale that the companies can create if they work together is larger than what any single industrial house can achieve.”


Read more about Tata skilling initiatives around the world

Striving to empower
Tata Strive, the group-wide, group-led skilling initiative, aims to set up a replicable model for training and skill development
Life skills for India
Tata companies are training thousands of youth across India in skill sets that make them employable and productive
STEM talent for America
Tata companies are addressing the deficit in science, technology, engineering and math skills in America to build a much-needed talent pool
Grooming young talent in China
The TCS China University steps up to offer soft skills training in partnership with 25 universities across the country
Skilling up in Singapore
NatSteel's upskilling initiatives are tied to the Singapore government's aim of building a more competitive workforce
IT's raining skills in Africa
In South Africa, TCS is empowering local talent by training students in a wide range of IT skills