Pratham Education Foundation in partnership with IT solutions & services company L&T Infotech has launched the ‘Digital Sakshar’ program with the mission to train 15,000 youth across Mumbai suburbs in employability skills in 2017. The duo plans to train youth from 14-30 age group from underserved communities. They explained that it would be a rigorous two months training intended to develop the foundation skills for employability. The training will also offer basic IT, soft skills and interview skills as core training modules. L&T Infotech said that its volunteers would participate on Saturdays to impart soft skills training. Placement assistance would also be provided to students on successful completion of their training. Pratham Infotech Foundation would be the implementation partner for the program. The Phase I of the program was launched in March 2016 with 10 centers in Mumbai. After an overwhelming response from the community to the first phase, where 2300 students enrolled and 2000 completed their training, Phase II of the program is launched now with 40 additional centers across Mumbai. The program works on a center-based model in collaboration with local schools. It is an evening (after school) program and leverages the existing infrastructure of partner schools. The companies claim that qualified, enthusiastic and committed youth from the community have been appointed as Program Fellows to run the program. Students would be trained in classrooms as well as in their communities. Every group of 4-5 students would be provided with a laptop by L&T Infotech during the training which they can use while studying in their community. This is to give emphasis on self and peer to peer learning. Also, job fairs would be organized for each batch and job seekers would be given multiple chances for interviews. This year collectively through Phase I & II the program will reach about 15,000 youth and the expansion will happen in phases. The course will be provided for free of cost to all.
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