ICICI Academy for Skills-an initiative that helps youth take the first step in the right direction

Vikki Khatik, who has received vocational training from ICICI Academy for Skills & is now placed at Vijay Electric Service in Jaipur, life has been kind to provide an opportunity to earn a sustainable livelihood. Having passed his 12th standard, he was looking for suitable direction & came across the work done by ICICI Academy for Skills centres across the country. For R.Kavya from a small town in Coimbatore who could not pursue electrical engineering due to her economic conditions, the opportunity to learn a 3 month course in Electrical & Home Appliance Repair was a dream come true. Menaka D from Bengaluru overcame many personal hurdles & is now place as a customer relations officer at a premium watch company. She undertook training in Office Administration course at ICICI Academy for Skills. Menaka now aims to become a national head at her present company. Sounds inspiring? Yes, these are real life stories of empowering youth from less privileged backgrounds with industry relevant training on a pro bono basis to make them employable.

World over, leaders have recognized the role of youth in shaping a country’s future, especially its socio-economic development.The first step in this direction would be to empower the youth with skills that helps them gain sustainable livelihood opportunities. The ICICI Academy for Skills set up by the ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth provides vocational training to the youth from economically weaker sections to help them earn a sustainable livelihood. I recently got an opportunity to visit the Mumbai Centre & meet the students first hand, an experience that shall stay with me for a long time. I decided to know more about the work done by ICICI Foundation & was happy to note that since its inception in October 2013, ICICI Academy for Skills has set up 24 centres across the country, including 10 exclusively for women. Another noteworthy thing is that, the ICICI Foundation has completed the training of more than 1 lakh 10 thousand youth till date, of which 44% are women.

I stepped into the ICICI Academy’s centre in Mumbai initiated in January 2016 that offers 12 week courses in Office Administration, Selling Skills, Electrical & Home Appliance Repair, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Repair and Two & Three Wheeler Service Technician.

The Academy has also tied up with industry leaders like TVS, Blue Star, Schneider & more who as 'Knowledge Partners' create content, set up practical training laboratories and train the trainers. As I spent time in five classrooms, I witnessed students oozing spectacular confidence as they recounted their struggles & the positive changes experienced after enrolling in the academy. Nearly 1434 students have been trained at the Academy & the centre provides uniforms, meals and course material free of cost to the candidates. The students are also trained in soft skills like Effective Communication, Financial Literacy, Etiquette and Grooming that help them adapt to an organized work environment. The Mumbai centre has tied up with industry partners to provide employment opportunities to the trained youth.

Ms. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank in her words, elaborates the work done by ICICI Academy for skills "Bridging the critical gap between manpower availability and employability is important to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for all to grow and prosper. With this focus, emerged the idea of setting up skill training centres across the country, and the launch of ICICI Academy for Skills in October 2013. We took a holistic approach in our efforts and are ensuring not just job-oriented training which is provided free of cost to the underprivileged youth, but also helping the trained youth to find employment through our linkage with industry. We have significantly scaled-up our training capabilities over the years, and through the centres are providing practical training in 13 technical and office skills to the youth.”

The ICICI Academy for skills reaches out to students via awareness programs, arranging youth counseling sessions in various parts of the state, taking the help of the state government to mobilize candidates, taking help from NGOs, evaluating referrals and walk-in candidates as well as references from employers. Candidates from less privileged backgrounds, who have a minimum qualification of Class X and fall in the age group of 18 to 30 years can apply for these courses.

Today’s youth has achievable dreams & towering ambitions. They have the power to shape our nations future. Not only have the students trained at ICICI academy for skills scaled great heights in their personal & professional lives, they are on the verge of becoming role models to others.


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