Mahindra Group’s Mahindra Pride Schools & Classrooms, SMART Academy, SMART Plus and Surya Mitra are some of its skilling initiatives through which it has skilled about five lakh youth over a period of 15 years. It has now further committed to further skill 500,000 youth in the next five years.
At an event today, Anand Mahindra, chairman, Mahindra Group, launched the coffee table book, The Job Factory, which compiles riveting stories of 75 young and successful alumni of Mahindra Pride School. In an attempt to spread awareness about skilling for employability, the Company has also launched a digital film #SkillHaiTohFutureHai on social media. The book is visualised and authored by Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation, which is the Group’s implementation partner in its CSR initiatives.
The Company is aware that the youth in the country can earn dignity, identity and empowerment by overcoming economic challenges, and this can happen only through gainful employment. The main thing that acts as a hurdle is skill gap.
On the occasion of its 60th anniversary, 15 years ago, the Mahindra Group had committed to skilling the youth of the country in the presence of the then president, following which it had announced the establishment of two Mahindra Pride Schools (MPS).
It has partnered with Naandi Foundation to re-calibrate the curriculum and ensure that the skills imparted make the learners employment-ready in the post-COVID era. The programme will work to expand the curriculum to new areas, such as agriculture, healthcare, e-commerce, services, entrepreneurship as well as technology. Mahindra Pride School is set to accelerate the job creation three times, by providing 100,000 additional jobs in the next five years instead of 15.
The creation of MPS was aimed at “nurturing and unlocking the potential of youth from weaker sections of our society,” says Mahindra.
Manoj Kumar, CEO, Naandi Foundation, points out, “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 MPS programme a unique curriculum was created to enable youth to access these ‘job readiness courses’ and ensure they were well placed with good salaries. “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,” states Kumar.
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,” says Sheetal Mehta, senior VP-CSR, Mahindra Group. These jobs have helped the youth improve their living standards and earn respect in their communities.
Mahindra Pride Schools exist across the country with centres in Chennai, Pune, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Patna and Varanasi. It focusses exclusively on youth in the 18 to 25 age bracket, belonging to the SC, ST, OBC, notified tribes (NT) and de-notified tribes (DNT). They focus on rural youth, giving equal opportunity to men as well as women. The students are offered alternative livelihood options, free of cost.
Information and awareness is spread through monthly road shows in communities /hamlets where the population of disadvantaged communities is high. The aim is to get maximum youth to enrol for training in spoken English, grooming and soft skills among other subjects. The training, thanks to the skilling curriculum curated by Naandi Foundation, helps them get jobs in the IT-enabled services, organised retail, hospitality, QSRs, and the automotive sectors.