India Australia Skills Mission

The second India Australia Skills Conference: Training and Industry – Bridging the Skills Divide was held recently in New Delhi, India. Mark Callaghan, CEO of WorldSkills Australia and Jessica Martin, 2013 Restaurant Service Skillaroo, International silver medallist and Australian Apprenticeship Ambassador attended the event as part of the largest ever skills delegation to visit India.

The Indian Government has set a target of skilling 500 million workers by 2022 and skill development therefore has emerged as a national priority. The Australia India Education Council (AIEC) has enhanced the skills relationship between the two countries. This conference saw a continuation for Australia and India to work collaboratively to build India’s skill development capacity.

India faces many challenges in achieving its ambitious target with one of the greatest challenges being to shift perceptions and to create a culture which respects trade and skills based careers. WorldSkills, through its program of competitions, produces real role models, such as Skillaroo, Jessica Martin, who can be held up as examples of what can be achieved through a vocational education and training pathway.

In her brief time in India, Jessica shared her story and conducted skills demonstrations for students, teachers and conference delegates, as well as becoming a local media star – completing radio and TV interviews as well as being featured on the front page of local newspapers.

WSA looks forward to continuing to work with WorldSkills India and the Indian National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) to further promote WorldSkills and skills in general in India and to help build a skills respect culture that will be central to the Government achieving its stated aims.