The Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is embarking on a large scale, demand-led, livelihood maximisation project to connect the youth of Pimpri-Chinchwad with suitable jobs. Youth in Pimpri Chinchwad will gain access to livelihoods through credible information, career counselling, vocational skills, placement and post-placement support. The design of vocational skilling courses will factor in the skills needed by industry, thus enhancing youth employability.

Shekhar Singh, Commissioner, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation announced this path breaking initiative “Kaushalyam – Youth and Business Growing Together” at a special event at the premises of the Nigdi Lighthouse in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Kaushalyam is a one of its kind, collaborative project that will try to bridge the gap between youth aspirations and industry demand and create shared value for all stakeholders in the city.

While announcing the Kaushalyam project, Shri. Shekhar Singh emphasised the critical role of initiatives like Kaushalyam in aligning youth potential with the evolving demands of the job market. He stated, “Kaushalyam represents a significant stride toward empowering our youth and fostering sustainable economic growth. It is a collaborative effort that underscores the importance of collective action in securing the future of our city.”

Dr. Ganesh Natarajan, Chairman of Lighthouse Communities Foundation, emphasised the need for active involvement from all stakeholders. “After successful launches in PMC, PCMC, Mumbai, Aurangabad, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Hyderabad with our initiatives impacting over 1.5 lakh youth, we are delighted to be a partner in this landmark mission. Kaushalyam calls for collective responsibility and we look forward to the support of Government, Donors, Corporate Partners for recruitment, course content and volunteering and civil society members to support and enhance this initiative.”

By 2027, Kaushalyam will impact the lives and livelihoods of 35000 youth from low-income, under-served communities through its various programs.

Key highlights of the Kaushalyam Project:

Universal Access: PCMC and Lighthouse Communities Foundation will be running 8 ‘Lighthouse’ and 7 ‘Lighthouse Connect’ centres for Skilling and Livelihood across Pimpri-Chinchwad. 4 Lighthouse centres are already operational (at Pimpri, Chinchwad, Bhosari and Nigdi), two Lighthouse Connect centres will be starting this month at Bhopkel and Borhadewadi and the balance 9 centres will start operations over this and next year. Each Lighthouse centre is a spacious, well-lit space with multiple classrooms and the required technology set-up.  These centres will be located within the proximity of under-served communities, thus enabling easy access. In addition, there will be a helpline for any youth across the city to call in for information about skilling and job opportunities. A unique technology portal ‘Kaushalyam’ will enable youth to self-navigate through hundreds of skilling and job opportunities, within their preferred geographic location.

Nature of Program: The programs are designed taking into consideration a ‘demand-led’ livelihood model and will address needs of industry and youth. Every young person who accesses the program will experience Rhythm – Lighthouse’s pioneering Foundation Course that enables young people to discover themselves, their aspirations and the world of work. In addition, Spoken English and Digital Skills for the Workplace will be offered as sector agnostic courses to enhance employability. A ‘Job-First’ program will be implemented for youth who already have relevant skills and need access to job opportunities. Specialised vocational skilling courses will be offered to youth who need specific vocational skills for job-readiness in different sectors where the industry demand exists.

Technology led, experiential career counselling: The Kaushalyam program will harness the power of technology to create counselling experiences that will bring the nature of job roles and career growth, alive to youth by using Virtual/Augmented Reality and AI.  Technology led counselling will be offered to youth within their communities as well as during their courses at the Lighthouse centres.

Investment: The Kaushalyam project is a true example of collective action with diverse stakeholders coming together to create irreversible change. Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation will provide the locations, renovation and infrastructure for the centres. The donor anchor Partner for Kaushalyam is Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, funding majority of operational costs of the project. Accenture is the key donor partner for the Lighthouse Connect centres that will offer A-Z of livelihood services. The Lighthouse Connect centres are being run as part of the Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN), fronted by Aspen Institute, USA. The other donor partners are Atlas Copco (India) Private Limited and e-Clerx Services Limited who are supporting the Lighthouse centres in Pimpri and Nigdi respectively.

Impact: Over the next 3 years, the Kaushalyam project will impact 35000 youth from low-income, under-served communities through the different programs. Besides this, hundreds of youth leaders will be identified, trained and mentored towards leading community outreach efforts through ‘Kaushalyam Kattas’ in each slum community. It is expected that the overall aspirations of youth to work, their awareness of livelihood opportunities and also the involvement of industry in creating successful employment will rise significantly, apart from job-creation for thousands of youth.

Annu Mehta of the Global Development Incubator spoke about the Global Opportunity Youth Network’s place-based approach to connect young people to economic opportunity. The GOYN approach sets up long term and local multi-stakeholder structures which map and use hyper-local data to define a labour absorption strategy for young people at scale.Through the unique partnership in Pimpri Chinchwad, we look forward to working with the PCMC, local private sector, skilling providers and and other key stakeholders to connect young people in Pimpri-Chinchwad to local, dignified, fair, and sustainable work.

Industry leaders from Pimpri-Chinchwad and youth representatives from the Lighthouse program participated in the event and committed to making this initiative a success. Industry leaders welcomed the opportunity to share their talent requirements and contribute towards the co-creation of industry approved skills training curriculum. Youth representatives looked forward to playing a key role by leading the mobilisation efforts and career guidance programs.