With a belief that educated and skilled young women and men are a country's true strength, Tech Mahindra Foundation runs a large employability programme for youth, to equip them with skills that will make them readily employable and land them in jobs with some of the most inspiring brands of the country.
The Foundation's flagship programme, SMART or Skills for Market Training, is a model vocational training programme for youth from underprivileged backgrounds, which helps them to actualize their potential in a career of their choice. The SMART Programme equips youth from urban communities with the requisite skills and attitudes for them to gainfully participate in the new economy. The programme began in 2012 with 3 centres in New Delhi and Hyderabad and trained 1,000 youth in the first year. In the current year, the Foundation is running 65 centres across 10 cities of India, with over 15,000 youth on the programme.
Youth on SMART, mostly first generation learners, have a minimum educational background, but typically lack the skills which are the jobs of today require – computers, spoken English and basic know-how of working in formal environments. They typically fulfill five criteria, and are:
- between 18 to 24 years of age
- belonging to urban locations, and socio-economically disadvantaged at large
- able to read and comprehend simple English
- in immediate need of a job
Right from the mobilization to admissions, through training and assessments, and till placements and further support, each function of the programme rigorously follows a defined set of processes, which are developed after thorough research and careful testing.
A highly rigorous training along the lines of a well-defined curriculum supported by effective training manuals, a robust system of regular assessment, and support beyond the completion of the course, form the essence of the SMART programme. The Foundation delivers the programme through partner NGOs across ten locations in India. It constantly invests in high-quality training and capacity building of the partners around the year.
Youth graduating from these centres have successfully filled the demand supply gap across multiple industries and the service sector.