Government of India, Ministry of Labour & Employment launched a Modular Employable Skills (MES) under Skill Development Initiative (SDI) Scheme through Directorate General of Employment & Training in May 2007.  Under this scheme, training to earlier school leavers and existing workers specially in a unorganised sector are to be trained for employable skills.    In close consultation with industries/State Governments and expertise the scheme has been operationalized since 2007.    A majority of Indian workforce does not possess marketable skills which is an impediment in getting decent employment and improving their economic condition.  While India has large young population, only 5% of the Indian labour force in the age group of 20-24 years has obtained vocational skills through formal means whereas the percentage in industrialized countries varies between 60 % and 96%.  About 63% of the school students drop out at different stages before reaching Class X.  Only about 2.5 million vocational training seats are available in the country whereas about 12.8 million persons enter the labour market every year.  Even out of these training places, very few are available for early school dropouts.  This signifies that a large number of school drop outs do not have access to skill development for improving their employability.  The educational entry requirements and long duration of courses of the formal training system are some of the impediments for a person of low educational attainment to acquire skills for his livelihood.  Further, the largest share of new jobs in India is likely to come from the unorganized sector that employs up to 93 per cent of the national workforce, but most of the training programmes cater to the needs of the organized sector.


  • To provide vocational training to school leavers, existing workers, ITI graduates, improve their employability by optimally utilizing the infrastructure available in Government, private institutions and the Industry.  Existing skills of the persons can also be tested and certified under this scheme.
  • To build capacity in the area of development of competency standards, course curricula, learning material and assessment standards in the country.
  •  Priority will be given to covering those above the age of 14 years who have been or withdrawn as child labour to enable them to learn employable skills in order to get gainful employment.


  • The Skill Development Initiative Scheme is 100 % centrally sponsored scheme.
  • Demand driven Short term training courses based on Modular Employable  Skills decided in consultation with Industry.
  • Central Government facilitates and promotes training while State Governments, private sector and industry provide training to the persons.
  • Optimum utilisation of existing infrastructure available to made training cost effective.
  • Courses are available for persons having completed 5th standard and onwards.
  • Testing of skills of trainees by independent assessing bodies, including industry organizations such as FICCI, CII, etc. which do not involve in training delivery, to ensure an impartial assessment by the employer itself.
  • Flexible delivery mechanism (part time, weekends, full time).
  • Different levels of programmes (Foundation level as well as skill up gradation) to meet demands of various target groups
  • Training is provided by registered Vocational Training Providers (VTPs) under the Govt., Private Sector and Industrial establishments.
  • Testing of skills of an individual acquired informally in competency and issue of certificate on qualifying it successfully.
  • The certification by NCVT which is recognised nationally and internationally for gainful employment.
  • During XI Plan period (2007-2012), against an approved outlay of Rs.550 crore, an amount of Rs.407 crore was spent and 13.67 lakh persons were trained or directly tested under the scheme.  Cabinet Committee on Skill Development has approved  the continuation of SDIS for XII Plan period with certain changes on 13.08.2013.
  • Existing skills of the persons can also be tested and certified under this scheme.
  • The on-line implementation of the  SDI Scheme through the Web-Portal has been launched since 1st  January, 2012.