Rediscovering Hidden Talent of Labourers

through Recognition of their Prior Learning

"Jugaad", although an outcome of a social and economic necessity, it has coincidentally motivated a lot of individuals to become innovative and imbibe a lot of skills. And while Jugaad might have turned these individuals into competent craftsmen and certain communities even into hive of entrepreneurs, these skills often remain unrecognized.

Providing recognition to their prior learning, can not only help labourers improve their productivity and enhance their real income, but also help employers implement HR practices related to health, safety, welfare and compensation, training, certification and even ease in complying with applicable laws related to their workplace in the unorganized sector. Thus, eventually enabling these individuals, to pull themselves out from leading their life through Jugaad.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a platform to provide recognition to the informal learning or work that a worker learns while being on the job, to get an equal acceptance as the formal levels of education. It aims to appreciate prior learning irrespective of the medium of achieving it. In short, RPL is a process of assessment of an individual’s prior learning to give due importance to learning as an outcome rather than learning as process. Individuals with prior learning experience or skills are assessed and certified under the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) component of the Scheme. RPL aims to align the competencies of the unregulated workforce of the country to the National Skills Qualification Framework.

What problems does it resolve?

The informal sector of employment unlike the formal sector of employment, lacks a concrete data about a labourer's data on literacy, education and work experience, moreover, these labourers might have an experience of working on multiple job roles and at times might have worked across multiple sectors. This situation makes it difficult to decipher their actual skill sets in a particular set of tasks or trade.

Due to this reason, employers often have to depend upon the recommendation of vendors and contractors while hiring these labourers for the kind of output these labourers can give.

The RPL under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) is an excellent initiative which enables to have a mechanism to gauge and formalize the actual skill set and also gauge the extent of excellence of a labourer in a particular occupation.

The RPL program under PMKVY which certifies the labourers for their skills, not only helps the employer to know about the skill sets of each labourer that is hired, but also helps the employer to decide the training these labourers might need as per the requirement of the project they shall be working on. The certification also helps the labourers to realize the gaps in their skills and work on improving their skill levels of the workforce to match the requirements of the job market and at the same time improve the bargaining power of the workforce to settle for decent wages, social security and job security. Apart from that certification it can also help them to exhibit their skills while taking up a job or even wish venture out to take up self employment.

As it is quite possible that the labourers have worked across sectors, RPL can help the labourers to validate their cross - sector skills which can eventually help them become more employable across multiple sectors.

Thus, it can be said that, RPL helps in solving the following problems,

1 - It helps to overcome the challenge of evaluating and sourcing the right talent.
2 - It helps to grade the existing skill level and identify the different skills in a labourer.
3 - It helps in knowing which labourer lacks the required skill and take appropriate action.
4 - It helps in getting the existing skills of the labours formally recognized.
5. -It makes the hiring process easier as the employers need not solely depend upon the recommendations of the vendors about the skillsets of the labourers.
6 - It facilitates labourers to exhibit their knowledge and skills either to employers or to new clients if they choose to become entrepreneurs, through the certificate that they receive after successful completion of the assessment.


More by :  Aniruddh Shastree

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