Mahindra Group Commits to Skilling 1 Million Under-resourced Youth by 2025

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Mumbai, December 17, 2020: Mahindra Group today announced that in its 75th milestone year, its skilling initiatives like Mahindra Pride Schools & Classrooms, SMART ACADEMY, SMART Plus, and Surya Mitra have skilled 500,000 youth and Mahindra Pride School alone has created 100,000 jobs in the last 15 years. It commits to further skill 500,000 youth in the next 5 years. At an event today, Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group unveiled ‘The Job Factory’ a coffee table book that chronicles riveting stories of 75 young alumni of Mahindra Pride School. With an aim to spread awareness about skilling for employability, a digital film #SkillHaiTohFutureHai was launched on social media recently.

The protagonists of India’s economic growth story are its youth, its demographic dividend. Gainful employment provides under-resourced youth dignity, identity, empowerment to overcome socio-economic challenges. However, the skill-gap continues to remain a critical challenge. In 2005 on its 60th anniversary, the Mahindra Group had taken a pole position towards affirmative action in youth skilling in presence of Hon. Former President of India Dr. Abdul Kalam and announced the setting up of two Mahindra Pride Schools (MPS) as part of its CSR initiatives. In the wake of the disruptions caused by the pandemic, Mahindra Group with Naandi Foundation as the implementation partner, will re-calibrate the curriculum to impart employable skills required in the post-COVID era. The program will look to expand the curriculum to new domains of agriculture, healthcare, ecommerce, services and entrepreneurship in addition to technology. MPS will also treble the pace of job creation by providing 100,000 additional jobs in the next five years vis-à-vis 15 years.

Anand Mahindra commented on the impact of the skilling initiative and said, “Mahindra Pride School was created with an aim to nurture and unlock the potential of youth from weaker sections of our society. The more I interact with the Pride School alumni I wonder why we address them as youth from ‘weaker’ sections, their indomitable spirit in fact makes them the ‘stronger’ section of our society. Their achievements and career trajectory strongly complement this viewpoint. I couldn’t be more heartened to see the impact Mahindra Pride School has brought to these youth, living up to the promise we made years ago.”

Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation, said, “Despite our demographic advantage, millions of India’s youth from socially & economically disadvantaged communities never make it to the Job Market in the organised sector. Through the Mahindra Pride School programme we created a unique curriculum that enabled such youth to access these ‘Job readiness courses’ and ensured they got secure proverbial ‘five figure salaried jobs’. The 100,000 jobs that we created is a testimony that the misfortune of an ovarian lottery can be reversed. But for that, we all need to support such efforts.”

‘The Job Factory’ coffee table book is visualised and authored by Manoj Kumar, photography and design is by the ace photographer Nevin John and drawings are by Nijeena Neelambaram. It is available online (click here) or please write to [email protected] for a printed copy.

Sheetal Mehta, Senior Vice President – CSR, Mahindra Group, said, “It has been fulfilling to see our graduates being offered placements based on skills learned at Mahindra Pride Schools. Through their jobs, not only have their standards of living improved, but more importantly they are looked upon with respect from their communities. We are confident that in the future too we will be to create more jobs by focussing on demand driven skills training.”

Mahindra Pride School (MPS) is a Mahindra Group CSR initiative established in 2005 that aims to skill the youth of India. MPS has been spread across the country with centres in Chennai, Pune, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Patna and Varanasi over the years. It is meant exclusively for youth (18-25 years) from socially disadvantaged sections i.e., (SC), (ST), (OBC), Notified Tribes (NT) and De-notified Tribes (DNT). They offer equal opportunity for men and women, with a focus on rural youth. It is non-residential and offers various alternative livelihood options to the students free of cost. ‘Road Shows’ are conducted for a month in specific communities /hamlets with a high SC/ST/OBC/NT/DNT population to spread information about MPS and encourage the youth to enrol for the training offered by the school. The youth are groomed in spoken English, grooming and soft skills and imparted domain specific training either of the verticals – IT enabled services, Organised Retail, Hospitality and QSRs, and the Automotive Sector.

The Mahindra Pride program was designed with Naandi Foundation to operate as a hub and spoke model. The hub being Mahindra Pride Schools, and the spoke being Mahindra Pride classrooms set up within Polytechnics, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and Arts & Science colleges across the country. Naandi Foundation further curated the skilling curriculum in the domains of Retail, Hospitality, ITES and Auto by collaborating with 300-400 corporates in these sectors to ensure its students would be “job ready”. During the pandemic, Mahindra Pride schools worked on remote learning thus ensuring continuous training for its students.