Youth Skills

The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choiceBrian Herbert

In these tumultuous times of economic and technological change, staying ahead depends on continuous self-development. If one wants to accomplish more and maximise their competitive advantage, they’ll need to adopt creative ideas, embrace digital skills, and cultivate a passion to develop new skills.

As we celebrate the World Youth Skills Day (15 July), it is very important to continually skill oneself to stay relevant in the current times, not only to earn our livelihoods but help create opportunities for others too. How quickly people adapt themselves to the new mantra of skilling, reskilling and upskilling will determine how the broader recovery of the Indian economy plays out. The pandemic has delivered an unprecedented shock to the economy but it’s the tens and millions of young people who can usher the transformation.

Skill is something that you learn, innovate and sharpen - like building a chair from a piece of wood. You enhance the value of the wood by doing some value addition, and to stay relevant, you need to keep adding stuff to it. Likewise, it is important to expand our skill further. This is known as upskill.

The idea of skilling oneself has struck a chord with millions of young people in India, including Jessica and other girls in her group. They are now full of hope as they attend British Council’s English language course delivered in partnership with Baale Mane, a Bangalore-based NGO and a happy home for over 50 street children like Jessica whose education has been supported by the institution. The teenage kids aspire to make their parents proud by acquiring new skills, pursue education despite the odds, accomplish a career, secure a home and a build a bright future.

The Baale Mane project empowering teenage girls has grown by leaps and bounds since the summer of 2019. British Council courses are now part of their annual curriculum and over 500 books donated by the British Council Library now adorn their library shelves. “The girls have loved the English programmes this year. They were supported in their personal development and enabled to build a range of essential skills. It has been great to see how fast their skills are developing”, writes Baale Mane.

To know more about educational enrichment opportunities with the British Council, visit our library page.


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