ICICI Academy for skills helping India achieve SDG 8 by ensuring “decent work and economic growth”
Sustainable Development Goal 8 focuses on ensuring “decent work and economic growth” and the target to achieve the same is by 2030. Among other countries, India is also a signatory to the framework.
Over the years several private players have been working with the government to help India meet its SDG goal. One such name is the ICICI Academy for Skills, which has been working relentlessly to impart skills and make the youth ready for jobs.
Among the countless beneficiaries, the story of Shivani Jain, a 23-year-old girl from Malka Ganj near North Campus in New Delhi shows the impact of the ICICI Academy for Skills.
A few years back, Shivani, a commerce graduate student, dreamt of a job in the organized sector and more specifically that of an accountant. Daughter of a street food seller who is a class 10th Pass, she lives with 15 other family members in a joint family which also includes her parents and her younger brother. She had only humble dreams till then. She knew she must stand on her own feet to ensure her independence which will not be limited to only financial aspects. Hence, when the team of ICICI Academy for Skills visited her college and interacted with the students about the benefits of the course Shivani seized the opportunity as she realized this might help her get that edge over other job searchers. Post her graduation, she took up the three months free course on “Office Administration” at the Academy.
In her own words, the Academy helped her with developing skills that are needed to be a good tele-caller and a thorough professional. The course was designed in an interactive manner where knowledge and skills are imparted through practical demos and group activities. Such a curriculum is especially beneficial for students from marginalized or underprivileged backgrounds as it helps them boost their confidence and communication skills. Shivani recalls how the course equipped her to deal with a difficult situation as a tele-caller, as they had to take part in mock activities like interacting with a dissatisfied customer and providing a solution. She was also appreciative of the infrastructure which included projectors, computers, and phones along with safe drinking water, clean bathrooms and additionally, one meal.
The course also considers that the students would not have the exposure like youths from more privileged backgrounds and in most cases would not have the advantage of being guided at home as well. So, the teachers at the Academy also teach them minute things like how to hold the CV while entering a room to appear for an interview to what clothes are deemed professional.
When the time for placement came, Shivani had 3 offers in hand and she took up the one she liked the most – the role of a tele caller in Textbook, a business-to-consumer company that helps prepare for exams. Initially, she joined as an intern for 4 months wherein she was paid a handsome amount of Rs. 10,000 per month. Post that she started working as a freelancer with them earning between Rs. 18,000-Rs 20,000 per month. She was also awarded the star performer award at her workplace.
She highlighted how during the COVID-19 lockdown the money was a huge help for the family as their other source of income was stalled. Nowadays she also saves a minimum of Rs. 5000 per month and the rest she spends herself or helps her family if they need something.
This course has helped her earn her living and as she says “Abhi hum independent ho gaye hai course ke wajah se. Course ka experience job se bahut alaag hai par course ke time pe jo sikhte hai woh job ke time help wo jate hain” (I have become financially independent. Although the course and the job are different but the learnings from the course helps one perform well in the job).