India is said to have the world’s largest workforce by the year 2031. However, it is reported that the current unemployment rate in the economy is still approximately 6.4% (as of June 2022). Employability challenges are especially acute for youth from disadvantaged communities, which constitute an important segment of the rising workforce. The leading causes for youth unemployment include limited access to skills training, placement support, and career guidance; limited technical and cultural understanding required to integrate into the workforce successfully. The problem disproportionately affects youth from low-income settings, who face a range of obstacles to employment based on their networks, resources, educational options, and family backgrounds.
TNS India Foundation has developed a Campus to Corporate Careers Program which aims to usher under-resourced college-going youth into the formal workforce by upskilling them in 21-century , advanced technical, digital and industrial skills and thereby unlocking their economic potential. This intervention dramatically affects the lives of the students, their families and community by helping them break out of the poverty cycle.The program includes components on Career Readiness (strengthening job-readiness by rigorous training), Career Counseling (developing student orientation towards corporate careers), Career Access (supporting youth to enter high-potential corporate careers), and Wrap-around support (like alumni and parent enagments to enable holistic progress, remedial classes and upto one year of post-placement support).
The program diversifies into three learning pathways: Campus to Digital Careers (C2DC) program, Campus to Technical Careers (C2TC) program and Campus to Industrial Careers (C2IC) program.
- Campus to Digital Careers (C2DC) program: Upskilling disadvantaged youth from non-technical streams (B.Sc, MSc. B.Com, BMS, BBA, BBI, BAF, BAFI) to build careers in the BFSI/BPO/KPO/Support service sectors.
- Campus to Technical Careers (C2TC) program: Upskilling disadvantaged youth from technical streams (B.Sc., B.Tech, Mathematics, BE, MCA) to build technical careers in the IT/ITeS sector.
- Campus to Industrial Careers (C2IC) program: Upskilling NEET (not in education, employment or training) individuals enrolled in ITIs (trades like COPA, Stenography, Sewing etc.) to build industrial careers.
Improve management capacity by improving the technical and managerial capacities of SGB management teams through use of digital platforms for inventory management, ERP systems, etc.
Improve tech-enabled processes and products by helping beneficiaries gain knowledge about the automations and technology which inturn can improve their product/service offerings which will help them compete more meaningfully in domestic and international markets.
Support in creating robust business models by creating an advisory support in developing realistic and forward-looking business models, and testing them to arrive at the right product-market fit.
Providing help to access credit for operational scale-up and financial viability by equipping beneficiaries with adequate knowledge about the businesses to access credit to scale up business operations, capture large market share and attain financial visibility which also helps them gain transition to digital banking and book-keeping systems which can boost their creditworthiness.
Our entrepreneurship approach goes beyond training and skilling to ensure tangible outcomes for beneficiaries. We target relatively small numbers of carefully-selected entrepreneurs, and we provide them with intensive training. This individual support is critical to the success of a new or budding enterprise, and ensures that training translates to improved practices, stronger businesses, and improved incomes for women and their families.
Improving the yield and quality of crops by promoting good agricultural practices which includes training on pre and post management of crops, using natural and chemical pesticides and the benefits of these on soil quality, training farmers with more efficient ways to harvest yields, benefits of quality grading and sorting produce for better prices and methods of identifying when crops have reached maturity.
Strengthening farmer institutions is a crucial aspect of the program which is aimed at helping agricultural households (farmers) come together to establish Farmer Producer Companies (FPC) in order to eliminate middlemen who buy from individual households and sell to institutional buyer, get better prices for raw material purchases, get access to loans, to sell directly larger markets (domestic & international) and be able to sell to institutional buyers for better prices.
Developing market systems by helping the FPC gain access to institutional buyers, promoting FPC as a one-stop solution to farmers by providing agri-inputs such as pesticides and overall help support in produce making, with higher yields and better quality crops.
Promotion of organic kitchen gardens by providing training on establishing organic kitchen gardens, educating farmers on the benefits such as monetary benefits of growing their own vegetables and the importance of good nutrition on long-term health.
Building local capacities to manage critical water resources sustainably by promoting good natural resource management practices by rejuvenation and creation of water structures (recharge shafts and distilling), the formation of water user committees to make farmers aware about the importance of local water resources and conducting resource mapping in each area.
Providing skill training and assistance to help women entrepreneurs grow and sustain their SGBs. Training curriculum will include aspects of personal financial literacy training (e.g. managing household finances, utilizing personal financial services effectively, etc.), farming as a Business (developed in-house based on adult learning principles and derived from learning from our past rural-agri entrepreneurship programs) and handheld support to develop business plans for women-led businesses.
Strengthen SGBEs access to markets and services by working closely with the management of existing women-led SGBss to increase the organization’s female membership base as well as to enhance women’s role in the organization’s leadership, develop women SBGleaders’ ability, alongside male leaders, to manage business operational functions, develop partnerships with financial institutions to improve the women –led SGBs’ access to commercial finance to support growth, developing banking and online skills in beneficiaries and providing training and helping gain access to digital sales platform and entry-level mobile device in order to use apps like WhatsApp, Facebook (Marketplace), Google (Pay), Youtube, and Paytm among others.
Increase access to financing for women entrepreneurs by providing support in quantifying their financing needs and improve creditworthiness based on results from a comprehensive cost and investment analysis and creditworthiness assessment for the program SGBs, organizing documentation, loan application, and support to persuasively sell their creditworthiness and through working with existing SGBs to increase women’s access to market inputs, valuable services and financing.