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21st Century Skill for Resilient Youth

Youths have been called upon by thinkers to discharge their duties for ages. It is they, who become the torchbearer of changes that get incorporated in the way as civilisations evolve over time. A young woman with her sheer physical power, accompanied by mental sharpness possess the potential to become invincible in any direction she decides to forge ahead.  But what makes her worthy enough? How does one know the correct direction which one should take?

Skilling- The Absolute Necessity

A youth in her budding age may have all the energy and the intellect but lack one of the most important ingredients: Experience. Due to less experience, she is unable to tap into her potential. She is like the clay which needs to be moulded with experienced hands through care and guidance. This is where skilling the youth comes into play. For example, Hima Das could not have been an internationally renowned sprinter had she not been given training facilities by Government. Many such stories of wasted potentials lie here and there across the country. India has the largest demographic dividend in the world. It means a large section of the Indian population belongs to the age group of 18-50 which can work and accelerate the economy. But without proper skilling of these teeming millions, the demographic dividend cannot be realised. Skilling the youth makes the inherent qualities get polished for productive usage of it.

Skilling- The Need for Recognition

In societies such as ours, there had been certain occupations carried out by specific communities and hence they are skilled enough on that. However, in the job sector skilling documentation is also demanded. For example, if a woman applies for the job of a music teacher, she won’t be hired unless there is a degree in music. It does not matter if she is a locally renowned vocalist. Hence, for such cases, not only skills but the recognition of skills by an authority is also required. Ministry of Skill Development has started the initiative of the ‘Recognition of Prior Learning’ certificate. This is a great step and awareness among the youth regarding it is necessary.  

Skilling- What does the ticking clock bring?

Change is the only constant in nature. Nothing remains as it is for long. Does the knowledge of using typewriter garner the same utility it used to have in the 1970s? So, skilling the youth also needs to adapt to the changing times. Today’s 21st-century world is fast-paced, technology-driven and more globalised. For a youth to be resilient in such a world, her skillsets should also be according to the times she lives in. 

Faster world

Today’s world has been driven by the revolution in Information and Communication Technology and as such the value of time has increased very much. The world has become fast and so the youth have to be fast as well. Gone are those days where the emphasis is laid on hard work. It is now being replaced by ‘smart work’, where she not only has to do the right things, but also has to do the right things fast. For example, a CEO in a corporate setting has to look at all aspects of her organisation and she has to deliver faster than her competitors so as to remain in the competition. This would entail skillsets much different than what they used to be before.

Transformed societies

In today’s world, much of the traditional societal roles are changing leading to a more gender-equal world. So, the time management between family and work-life has become important. Now, a woman is required to don the hat of a professional at work as well as that of a mother, wife or sister. Thus, it is equally important for her to be skilled in a way so that a healthy work-life balance is also maintained. For example, Indra Nooyi talked about her experience of handling her family as well as being the CEO of Pepsi Co, both being equally demanding in their own spheres.

Managing Health

 The economy has become more profit-driven in the 21st-century world, as a result of which, work pressure and constant competition regarding the living standards have taken a huge toll on the mental and physical health of people. The cases of cardiac troubles, hypertension, depression etc have increased many times. For example, trends show that more woman in urban areas of India is prone to cardiac and menstrual problems due to excessive stress levels. Thus, the 21st-century youth also need to take care of themselves and ensure that the globalised world does not make them stray away from a healthy life ahead. Money and income become important but not at the cost of life itself.  It is also a necessary skill to internalise because a healthy workforce is only the best workforce. Only when she is healthy, she is working to make own and other’s life better.

Newer paradigms

21st-century youth are at the centre of monumental changes in the way we live. The technological revolution has made our lives easier but has also changed fundamental paradigms of living. For example, the COVID-19  pandemic has made ‘Work from Home’ a very familiar term. People find it easier and safe to work from home rather than to travel to the office. However, it has also affected the so-called homely environment accompanied by a loss of personal touch in the work environment. For example, working from home for a woman becomes difficult at times as her physical presence at home may push her into homely duties at

work hours, intentionally and unintentionally. It makes her unable to feel at home completely or unable to work efficiently either. Thus, it is also important for the youth to develop skillsets in such a way that such unexpected shifts are also properly taken care of without compromising much.

The world is changing and people have to adapt according to it. So, the resilient youth of the 21st century has to have the skills that help them live a complete life through wisdom to make the right choices at the right time. It is the need of the hour, else the youth will also stray away and eventually perish.    

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About The Author

Mousumi is an enthusiastic person, who is always motivated to work for the upliftment of women and to create more awareness. She believes women empowerment is the only way to get women to come to realise their worth and potential. She wants to take steps to bridge the gender gap in India and to work towards womens' economic and social empowerment.

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Mousumi Bhattacharjee Limitless Stree Member

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