Skills on Wheels: mobile vocational labs drive digital literacy and skill development across india
Skills on Wheels, an innovative program by Lend A Hand India, a Pune-based NGO, has taken the initiative to transform vocational education in secondary schools across India. Over the past decade, this NGO has partnered with the Governments of ten states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, NCT of Delhi, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and the UTs of Diu and Daman, to provide vocational education.
Skills on Wheels is a mobile vocational lab built on a truck chassis, equipped with Wi-Fi, audio-visual facilities, and a generator. It serves as both a mobile lab and an advocacy tool, reaching out to 10th and 12th-grade students for career counseling and skill training. This program is designed for unemployed youths and school/college dropouts.
Trained vocational instructors accompany Skills on Wheels, providing skill training in areas like welding, plumbing, electrical wiring, food processing, basic healthcare, and mobile repairs. The program also emphasizes digital literacy and skills, aligning with India’s global competency goals.
Dharmendra Pradhan, speaking to reporters, described Skills on Wheels as a unique experiment that aligns with the government’s commitment to providing traditional craftsmen with 21st-century digitization skills. The initiative will begin in Rajasthan and later expand to other parts of the country.
This initiative aims to raise awareness about the government’s skill development mission, opportunities, and support systems available to the youth. It complements the PM Vishwakarma scheme, benefiting traditional artisans and craftspeople, which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration of the India International Convention Centre on his birthday.
“To realize its mission to reach out to each and every youth in the country, the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and National Skill Development Corporation has started ‘Skill on wheels’ or Kaushal Rath and Skillathon to spread awareness around Skill Mission, opportunities and support system available to the youth and engage all the stakeholders in a structured manner,” an official statement said.